MACMILLAN'S STANDARD LIBRARY
GROSSET & DUNLAP
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped January, 1898. Reprinted, March,
twice, May, July, August, September, October, 1898; June, 1899.
Special edition, August, September, 1899. Regular edition, Sep.
tember, October, 1899 ; March, 1900. Special edition, October,
1900; January, February, October, twice, 1901 5 July, 1905; July,
iyo.v, October, 1904 ; June, 1905 ; March, October, 1906; March,
June, 1907 ; March, June, October, 1908; March, 1909; May, 1910;
April, 1911 ; March, 1912. .
WITH THE AFFECTIONATE REGARDS OF
I WAS about to say that I had known the
Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I
see I shall have to amend that, because he was
not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve
fame until some time after I had left New York
for the West. In the old days, to my common
place and unobserving mind, he gave no evi
dences of genius whatsoever. He never read
me any of his manuscripts, which I can safely
say he would have .done had he written any at
that time, and therefore my lack of detection of
his promise may in some degree be pardoned.
But he had then none of the oddities and man
nerisms which I hold to be inseparable from
genius, and which struck my attention in after
days when I came in contact with the Celebrity.
Hence I am constrained to the belief that^his
eccentricity must have arrived with his genius,
2 The Celebrity
and both after the age of twenty-five. Far be
it from me to question the talents of one upon
whose head has been set the laurel of fame !
When I knew him he was a young man with
out frills or foibles, with an excellent head for
business. He was starting in to practise law in
a downtown office with the intention of becom
ing a great corporation lawyer. He used to
drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke,
and was first-rate company. When I gave a
dinner there was generally a cover laid for him.
I liked the man for his own sake, and even had
he promised to turn out a celebrity it would
have had no weight with me. I look upon
notoriety with the same indifference as on the
buttons on a man's shirt-front, or the crest on
When I went West, he fell out of my life.
I probably should not have given him another
thought had I not caught sight of his name, in
old capitals, on a daintily covered volume in a
book-stand. I had little time or inclination for
reading fiction ; my days were busy ones, and
my nights were spent with law books. But I
bought the volume out of curiosity, wondering
the while whether he could have written it I
The Celebrity 3
was soon set at rest, for the dedication was to a
young woman of whom I had often heard him
speak. The volume was a collection of short
stories. On these I did not feel myself compe
tent to sit in judgment, for my personal taste in
fiction, if I could be said to have had any, took
another turn. The stories dealt mainly with
the affairs of aristocratic young men and aristo
cratic young women, and were differentiated to
fit situations only met with in that society which
does not have to send descriptions of its func
tions to the newspapers. The stories did not
seem to me to touch life. They were plainly
intended to have a bracing moral effect, and
perhaps had this result for the people at whom
they were aimed. They left with me the im
pression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture,
with characters about as life-like as the shadows
on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the
mercy of the operator. Their charm to me lay
in the manner of the telling, the style, which
I am forced to admit was delightful.
But the book I had bought was a success,
a great success, if the newspapers and the re
ports of the sales were to be trusted. I read
the criticisms out of curiosity more than any
4 The Celebrity
other prompting, and no two of them were
alike : they veered from extreme negative to
extreme positive. I have to confess that it
gratified me not a little to find the negatives
for the most part of my poor way of thinking.
The positives, on the other hand, declared the
gifted young author to have found a manner
of treatment of social life entirely new. Other
critics still insisted it was social ridicule : but
if this were so, the satire was too delicate for
However, with the dainty volume my quon
dam friend sprang into fame. At the same
time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace
existence. He at once became the hero of the
young women of the country from Portland,
Maine, to Portland, Oregon, many of whom
wrote him letters and asked him for his photo
graph. He was asked to tell what he really
meant by the vague endings of this or that
story. And then I began to hear rumors that
his head was turning. These I discredited, of
course. If true, I thought it but another proof
of the undermining influence of feminine flat
tery, which few men, and fewer young men, can
stand. But I watched his career with interest.
The Celebrity 5
He published other books, of a high moral tone
and unapproachable principle, which I read
carefully for some ray of human weakness, for
some stroke of nature untrammelled by the
calling code of polite society. But in vain.
IT was by a mere accident that I went West,
some years ago, and settled in an active and
thriving town near one of the Great Lakes.
The air and bustle and smack of life about the
place attracted me, and I rented an office and
continued to read law, from force of habit, I
suppose. My experience in the service of one
of the most prominent of New York lawyers
stood me in good stead, and gradually, in addi
tion to a heterogeneous business of mines and
lumber, I began to pick up a few clients. But
in all probability I should be still pegging away
at mines and lumber, and drawing up occasional
leases and contracts, had it not been for Mr.
Farquhar Fenelon Cooke, of Philadelphia. Al
though it has been specifically written that
promotion to a young man comes neither from
the East nor the West, nor yet from the South,
Mr. Cooke arrived from the East, and in the
nick of time for me.
I was indebted to Farrar for Mr. Cooke's
The Celebrity 7
acquaintance, and this obligation I have since
in vain endeavored to repay. Farrar's profes
sion was forestry: a graduate of an eastern
college, he had gone abroad to study, and had
roughed it with the skilled woodsmen of the
black forest. Mr. Cooke, whom he represented,
had large tracts of land in these parts, and
Farrar likewise received an income from the
state, whose legislature had at last opened its
eyes to the timber depredations and had begun
to buy up reserves. We had rooms in the
same Elizabethan building at the corner of
Main and Superior streets, but it was more
than a year before I got farther than a nod
with him. Farrar's nod in itself was a repul
sion, and once you had seen it you mentally
scored him from the list of your possible
friends. Besides this freezing exterior he pos
sessed a cutting and cynical tongue, and had
but little confidence in the human race. These
qualities did not tend to render him popular
in a Western town, if indeed they would have
recommended him anywhere, and I confess to
have thought him a surly enough fellow, being
guided by general opinion and superficial ob
servation. Afterwards the town got to know
8 The Celebrity
him, and if it did not precisely like him, it
respected him, which perhaps is better. And
he gained at least a few warm friends, among
whom I deem it an honor to be mentioned.
Farrar's contempt for consequences finally
brought him an unsought-for reputation. Ad
miration for him was born the day he pushed
O'Meara out of his office and down a flight
of stairs because he had undertaken to suggest
that which should be done with the timber in
Jackson County. By this summary proceeding
Farrar lost the support of a faction, O'Meara
being a power in the state and chairman of the
forestry board besides. But he got rid of in
terference from that day forth.
Oddly enough my friendship with Farrar was
an indirect result of the incident I have just
related. A few mornings after, I was seated
in my office trying to concentrate my mind on
page twenty of volume ten of the Records when
I was surprised by O'Meara himself, accompa
nied by two gentlemen whom I remembered to
have seen on various witness stands. O'Meara
was handsomely dressed, and his necktie made
but a faint pretence of concealing the gorgeous
diamond in his shirt-front. But his face wore
The Celebrity 9
an aggrieved air, and his left hand was neatly
bound in black and tucked into his coat. He
sank comfortably into my wicker chair, which
creaked a protest, and produced two yellow-
spotted cigars, chewing the end of one with
much apparent relish and pushing the other
at me. His two friends remained respectfully
standing. I guessed at what was coming, and
braced myself by refusing the cigar, not a
great piece of self-denial, by the way. But a
case meant much to me then, and I did seri
ously regret that O'Meara was not a possible
client. At any rate, my sympathy with Farrar
in the late episode put him out of the ques
O'Meara cleared his throat and began gin
gerly to undo the handkerchief on his hand.
Then he brought his fist down on the table
so that the ink started from the stand and his
cheeks shook with the effort.
" I'll make him pay for this ! " he shouted,
with an oath.
The other gentlemen nodded their approval,
while I put the inkstand in a place of safety.
" You're a pretty bright young man, Mr.
Crocker," he went on, a look of cunning com-
IO The Celebrity
ing into his little eyes, "but I guess you ain't
had too many cases to object to a big one."
" Did you come here to tell me that ? " I
He looked me over queerly, and evidently
decided that I meant no effrontery.
"I came here to get your opinion," he said,
holding up a swollen hand, " but I want to tell
you first that I ought to get ten thousand, not a
cent less. That scoundrelly young upstart "
" If you want my opinion," I replied, trying
to speak slowly, "it is that Mr. Farrar ought
to get ten thousand dollars. And I think that
would be only a moderate reward."
I did not feel equal to pushing him into the
street, as Farrar had done, and I have now but
a vague notion of what he said and how he got
there. But I remember that half an hour after
wards a man congratulated me openly in the
That night I found a new friend, although
at the time I thought Farrar's visit to me the
accomplishment of a perfunctory courtesy to
a man who had refused to take a case against
him. It was very characteristic of Farrar not
to mention this until he rose to go. About
The Celebrity II
half-past eight he sauntered in upon me, plac
ing his hat precisely on the rack, and we talked
until ten, which is to say that I talked and he
commented. His observations were apt, if a
trifle caustic, and it is needless to add that I
found them entertaining. As he was leaving
he held out his hand.
" I hear that O'Meara called on you to-day,"
he said diffidently.
" Yes," I answered, smiling, " I was sorry not
to have been able to take his case."
I sat up for an hour or more, trying to arrive
at some conclusion about Farrar, but at length
I gave it up. His visit had in it something
impulsive which I could not reconcile with his
manner. He surely owed me nothing for refus
ing a case against him, and must have known
that my motives for so doing were not personal.
But if I did not understand him, I liked him
decidedly from that night forward, and I hoped
that his advances had sprung from some other
motive than politeness. And indeed we gradu
ally drifted into a quasi-friendship. It became
his habit, as he went out in the morning, to
drop into my room for a match, and I returned
the compliment by borrowing his coal oil when
12 The Celebrity
mine was out. At such times we would sit, or
more frequently stand, discussing the affairs of
the town and of the nation, for politics was
an easy and attractive subject to us both. It
was only in a general way that we touched
upon each other's concerns, this being danger
ous ground with Farrar, who was ever ready to
close up at anything resembling a confidence.
As for me, I hope I am not curious, but I own
to having had a curiosity about Farrar's Phila
delphia patron, to whom Farrar made but slight
allusions. His very name Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke had an odd sound which somehow be
tokened an odd man, and there was more than
one bit of gossip afloat in the town of which he
was the subject, notwithstanding the fact that
he had never honored it with a visit. The
gossip was the natural result of Mr. Cooke's
large properties in the vicinity. It has never
been my habit, however, to press a friend on
such matters, and I could easily understand and
respect Farrar's reluctance to talk of one from
whom he received an income.
I had occasion, in the May of that year, to
make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago,
and on my return, much to my surprise, I found
The Celebrity 13
Farrar awaiting me in the railroad station. He
smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting,
stopped to buy a newspaper, and finally leading
me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
I was completely mystified at such an unusual
"What's this for?" I asked.
" I shan't bother you long," he said ; " I sim
ply wanted the chance to talk to you before
you got to your office. I have a Philadelphia
client, a Mr. Cooke, of whom you may have
heard me speak. Since you have been away
the railroad has brought suit against him. The
row is about the lands west of the Washita, on
Copper Rise. It's the devil if he loses, for the
ground is worth the dollar bills to cover it. I
telegraphed, and he got here yesterday. He
wants a lawyer, and I mentioned you."
There came over me then in a flash a com
prehension of Farrar which I had failed to
grasp before. But I was quite overcome at his
" Isn't it rather a big deal to risk me on ? "
I said. "Better go to Chicago and get Parks.
He's an expert in that sort of thing." I am
afraid my expostulation was weak.
14 The Celebrity
"I merely spoke of you," replied Farrar,
coolly, " and he has gone around to your office.
He knows about Parks, and if he wants him
he'll probably take him. It all depends upon
how you strike Cooke whether you get the
case or not. I have never told you about
him," he added with some hesitation ; " he's a
trifle queer, but a good fellow at the bottom.
I should hate to see him lose his land."
" How is the railroad mixed up in it ? " I
" I don't know much about law, but it would
seem as if they had a pretty strong case," he
answered. He went on to tell me what he
knew of the matter in his clean, pithy sen
tences, often brutally cynical, as though he
had not a spark of interest in any of it.
Mr. Cooke' s claim to the land came from a
maternal great-uncle, long since deceased, who
had been a settler in these regions. The
railroad answered that they had bought the
land with other properties from the man,
also deceased, to whom the old gentleman
was alleged to have sold it. Incidentally I
learned something of Mr. Cooke's maternal
The Celebrity 15
We drove back to the office with some con
cern on my part at the prospect of so large
a case. Sunning himself on the board steps,
I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters
and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and
his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol
of the Philistines. A silver snaffle on a heavy
leather watch guard which connected the pock^
ets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a
huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently
proclaimed his tastes. But I found myself con
tinually returning to the countenance, and I
still think I could have modelled a better face
out of putty. The mouth was rather small,
thick-lipped, and put in at an odd angle ; the
brown eyes were large, and from their habit
of looking up at one lent to the round face an
incongruous solemnity. But withal there was
a perceptible acumen about the man which was
puzzling in the extreme.
" How are you, old man ? " said he, hardly
waiting for Farrar to introduce me. "Well, I
hope." It was pure cordiality, nothing more.
He seemed to bubble over with it.
I said I was well, and invited him inside.
1 6 The Celebrity
" No," he said ; " I like the look of the town.
We can talk business here."
And talk business he did, straight and to the
point, so -fast and indistinctly that at times I
could scarcely follow him. I answered his rapid
questions briefly, and as best I knew how. He
wanted to know what chance he had to win the
suit, and I told him there might be other fac
tors involved beside those of which he had
spoken. Plainly, also, that the character of his
great-uncle was in question, an intimation which
he did not appear to resent. But that there
was no denying the fact that the railroad had
a strong thing of it, and a good lawyer into the
"And don't you consider yourself a good
lawyer?" he cut in.
I pointed out that the railroad lawyer was a
man of twice my age, experience, and reputation.
Without more ado, and before either Farrar
or myself had time to resist, he had hooked an
arm into each of us, and we were all three
marching down the street in the direction of
his hotel. If this was agony for me, I could
see that it was keener agony for Farrar. And
although Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke had
The Celebrity 17
been in town but a scant twenty-four hours,
it seemed as if he knew more of its inhabitants
than both of us put together. Certain it is
that he was less particular with his acquaint
ances. He hailed the most astonishing people
with an easy air of freedom, now releasing
my arm, now Farrar's, to salute. He always
saluted. He stopped to converse with a dozen
men we had never seen, many of whom smelled
strongly of the stable, and he invariably intro
duced Farrar as the forester of his estate, and
me as his lawyer in the great quarrel with the
railroad, until I began to wish I had never
heard of Blackstone. And finally he steered us
into the spacious bar of the Lake House.
The next morning the three of us were off
early for a look at the contested property. It
was a twenty-mile drive, and the last eight miles
wound down the boiling Washita, still high with
the melting snows of the pine lands. And even
here the snows yet slept in the deeper hollows,
unconscious of the budding green of the slopes.
How heartily I wished Mr. Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke back in Philadelphia! By his eternal
accounts of his Germantown stables and of the
blue ribbons of his hackneys he killed all sense
1 8 The Celebrity
of pleasure of the scene, and set up an irritation
that was well-nigh unbearable. At length we
crossed the river, climbed the foot-hills, and
paused on the ridge. Below us lay the quaint
inn and scattered cottages of Asquith, and
beyond them the limitless and foam-flecked
expanse of lake : and on our right, lifting from
the shore by easy slopes for a mile at stretch,
Farrar pointed out the timbered lands of Cop
per Rise, spread before us like a map. But
the appreciation of beauty formed no part of
Mr. Cooke's composition, that is, beauty as
Farrar and I knew it.
"If you win that case, old man," he cried,
striking me a great whack between the shoulder-
blades, " charge any fee you like ; I'll pay it !
And I'll make such a country-place out of this
as was never seen west of New York state, and
call it Mohair, after my old trotter. I'll put a
palace on that clearing, with the stables just
over the knoll. They'll beat the Germantown
stables a whole lap. And that strip of level,"
he continued, pointing to a thinly timbered bit,
"will hold a mile track nicely."
Farrar and I gasped : it was as if we had
tumbled into the Washita.
The Celebrity ig
" It will take money, Mr. Cooke," said Farrar,
"and you haven't won the suit yet."
"Damn the money!" said Mr. Cooke, and
we knew he meant it.
Over the episodes of that interminable morn
ing it will be better to pass lightly. It was spent
by Farrar and me in misery. It was spent by
Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke in an ecstasy of
enjoyment, driving over and laying out Mohair,
and I must admit he evinced a surprising genius
in his planning, although, according to Farrar,
he broke every sacred precept of landscape
gardening again and again. He displayed the
enthusiasm of a pioneer, and the energy of a
Napoleon. And if he were too ignorant to
accord to nature a word of praise, he had the
grace and intelligence to compliment Farrar on
the superb condition of the forests, and on the
judgment shown in laying out the roads, which
were so well chosen that even in this season
they were well drained and dry. That day, too,
my views were materially broadened, and I re
ceived an insight into the methods and possi
bilities of my friend's profession sufficient to
instil a deeper respect both for it and for him.
The crowded spots had been skilfully thinned
2O The Celebrity
of the older trees to give the younger ones a
chance, and the harmony of the whole had been
carefully worked out. Now we drove under
dark pines and hemlocks, and then into a
lighter relief of birches and wild cherries, or
a copse of young beeches. And I learned
that the estate had not only been paying the
taxes and its portion of Farrar's salary, but also
a considerable amount into Mr. Cooke's pocket
the while it was being improved.
Mr. Cooke made his permanent quarters at
the Lake House, and soon became one of the
best-known characters about town. He seemed
to enjoy his popularity, and I am convinced that
he would have been popular in spite of his now-
famous quarrel with the raitroad. His easy
command of profanity, his generous use of
money, his predilection for sporting characters,
of whom he was king ; his ready geniality and
good-fellowship alike with the clerk of the Lake
House or the Mayor, not to mention his own
undeniable personality, all combined to make
him a favorite. He had his own especial table
in the dining-room, called all the waiters by
their first names, and they fought for the privi
lege of attending him. He likewise called the
The Celebrity 21
barkeepers by their first names, and had his
own particular corner of the bar, where none
dared intrude, and where he could almost inva
riably be found when not in my office. From
this corner he dealt out cigars to the deserving,
held stake moneys, decided all bets, and refereed
all differences. His name appeared in the per
sonal column of one of the local papers on the
average of twice a week, or in lieu thereof one
of his choicest stories in the "Notes about
Town " column.
The case was to come up early in July, and
I spent most of my time, to the detriment of
other affairs, in preparing for it. I was greatly
hampered in my work by my client, who filled
my office with his tobacco-smoke and that of
his friends, and he took it very much for
granted that he was going to win the suit.
Fortune had always played into his hands, he
said, and I had no little difficulty in convincing
him that matters had passed from his hands
into mine. In this I believe I was never en
tirely successful. I soon found, too, that he
had no ideas whatever on the value of dis
cretion, and it was only by repeated threats of
absolute failure that I prevented our secret
22 The Celebrity
tactics from becoming the property of his
sporting fraternity and of the town.
The more I worked on the case, the clearer
it became to me that Mr. Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke's great-uncle had been either a consum
mate scoundrel or a lunatic, and that our only
hope of winning must be based on proving him
one or the other ; it did not matter much which,
for my expectations at best were small. When
I had at length settled to this conclusion I con
fided it as delicately as possible to my client,
who was sitting at the time with his feet cocked
up on the office table, reading a pink news
" Which'll be the easier to prove ? " he asked,
without looking up.
" It would be more charitable to prove he
had been out of his mind," I replied, "and per
"Charity be damned," said this remarkable
man. " I'm after the property."
So I decided on insanity. I hunted up and
subpoenaed white-haired witnesses for miles
around. Many of them shook their heads when
they spoke of Mr. Cooke's great-uncle, and
some knew more of his private transactions
The Celebrity 23
than I could have wished, and I trembled lest
my own witnesses should be turned against
me. I learned more of Mr. Cooke's great-uncle
than I knew of Mr. Cooke himself, and to the
credit of my client be it said that none of his
relative's traits were apparent in him, with the
possible exception of insanity ; and that defect,
if it existed in the grand-nephew, took in him
a milder and less criminal turn. The old rascal,
indeed, had so cleverly worded his deed of sale
as to obtain payment without transfer. It was
a trifle easier to avoid being specific in that
country in his day than it is now, and the docu
ment was, in my opinion, sufficiently vague to
admit of a double meaning. The original sale
had been made to a man, now dead, whom the
railroad had bought out. The Copper Rise
property was mentioned among the other lands
in the will in favor of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke, and the latter had gone ahead improving
them and increasing their output in spite of the
repeated threats of the railroad to bring suit.
And it was not until its present attorney had
come in and investigated the title that the rail
road had resorted to the law. I mention here^
by the way, that my client was the sole heir.
24 The Celebrity
But as the time of the sessions drew near, the
outlook for me was anything but bright. It is
true that my witnesses were quite willing to
depose that his actions were queer and out of
the common, but these witnesses were for the
most part venerable farmers and backwoods
men : expert testimony was deplorably lacking.
In this extremity it was Mr. Farquhar Fenelon
Cooke himself who came unwittingly to my
rescue. He had bought a horse, he could
never be in a place long without one, which
was chiefly remarkable, he said, for picking up
his hind feet as well as his front ones. How
ever he may have differed from the ordinary
run of horses, he was shortly attacked by one
of the thousand ills to which every horse is sub
ject. I will not pretend to say what it was.
I found Mr. Cooke one morning at his usual
place in the Lake House bar holding forth with
more than common vehemence and profanity
on the subject of veterinary surgeons. He
declared there was not a veterinary surgeon in
the whole town fit to hold a certificate, and his
listeners nodded an extreme approval to this
sentiment. A grizzled old fellow who kept a
stock farm back in the country chanced to be
The Celebrity 25
there, and managed to get a word in on the
subject during one of my client's rare pauses.
"Yes," he said, "that's so. There ain't one
of 'em now fit to travel with young Doctor
Vane, who was here some fifteen years gone
by. He weren't no horse-doctor, but he could
fix up a foundered horse in a night as good as
new. If your uncle was livin', he'd back me
on that, Mr. Cooke."
Here was my chance. I took the old man
aside, and two or three glasses of Old Crow
launched him into reminiscence.
"Where is Doctor Vane now?" I asked
"Over to Minneapolis, sir, with more rich
patients nor he can take care of. Wasn't my
darter over there last month, and seen him ?
And demned if he didn't pull up his carriage
and talk to her. Here's luck to him."
I might have heard much more of the stock-
raiser had I stayed, but I fear I left him some
what abruptly in my haste to find Farrar. Only
three days remained before the case was to
come up. Farrar readily agreed to go to Min
neapolis, and was off on the first train that
afternoon. I would have asked Mr. Cooke to
.26 The Celebrity
go had I dared trust him, such was my anxiety
to have him out of the way, if only for a time.
I did not tell him about the doctor. He sat up
very late with me that night on the Lake House
porch to give me a rubbing down, as he ex
pressed it, as he might have admonished some
favorite jockey before a sweepstake. "Take
it easy, old man," he would say repeatedly,
"and don't give things the bit before you're
sure of their wind ! "
Days passed, and not a word from Farrar.
The case opened with Mr. Cooke's friends on
the front benches. The excitement it caused
has rarely been equalled in that section, but I
believe this was due less to its sensational
features than to Mr. Cooke, who had an ab
normal though unconscious talent for self-ad
vertisement. It became manifest early that
we were losing. Our testimony, as I had
feared, was not strong enough, although they
said we were making a good fight of it. I was
racked with anxiety about Farrar ; at last, when
I had all but given up hope, I received a tele
gram from him dated at Detroit, saying he
would arrive with the doctor that evening.
This was Friday, the fourth day of the trial.
The Celebrity 27
The doctor turned out to be a large man,
well groomed and well fed, with a twinkle in
his eye. He had gone to Narragansett Pier
for the summer, whither Farrar had followed
him. On being introduced, Mr. Cooke at once
invited him out to have a drink.
"Did you know my uncle ? " asked my client.
"Yes," said the doctor, "I should say I did."
" Poor old duffer," said Mr. Cooke, with due
solemnity ; " I understand he was a maniac."
"Well," said the doctor, while we listened
with a breathless interest, "he wasn't exactly
a maniac, but I think I can safely say he was
" Then here's to insanity ! " said the irre
pressible, his glass swung in mid-air, when a
thought struck him, and he put it down again
and looked hard at the doctor.
" Will you swear to it ? " he demanded.
"I would swear to it before Saint Peter,"
said the doctor, fervently.
He swore to it before a jury, which was more
to the point, and we won our case. It did not
even go to the court of appeals ; I suppose the
railroad thought it cheaper to drop it, since no
right of way was involved. And the decision
28 The Celebrity
was scarcely announced before Mr. Farquhar
Fenelon Cooke had begun work on his new
country place, Mohair.
I have oftentimes been led to consider the
relevancy of this chapter, and have finally de
cided to insert it. I concluded that the actual
narrative of how Mr. Cooke came to establish
his country-place near Asquith would DC : nter-
esting, and likewise throw some light on that
gentleman's character. And I ask the reader's
forbearance for the necessary personal history
involved. Had it not been for Mr. Cooke's
friendship for me I should not have written
EVENTS are consequential or inconsequential
irrespective of their size. The wars of Troy
were fought for a woman, and Charles VIII, of
France, bumped his head against a stone door
way and died because he did not stoop low
enough. And to descend from history down
to my own poor chronicle, Mr. Cooke's rail
road case, my first experience at the bar of
any gravity or magnitude, had tied to it a
string of consequences then far beyond my
guessing. The suit was my stepping-stone not
only to a larger and more remunerative prac
tice, but also, I believe, to the position of dis
trict attorney, which I attained shortly after
Mr. Cooke had laid out Mohair as ruthlessly
as Napoleon planned the new Paris ; though
not, I regret to say, with a like genius. Fortu
nately Farrar interposed and saved the grounds,
but there was no guardian angel to do a like
turn for the house. Mr. Langdon Willis, of
30 The Celebrity
Philadelphia, was the architect who had norni-
nal charge of the building. He had regularly
submitted some dozen plans for Mr. Cooke's
approval, which were as regularly rejected. My
client believed, in common with a great many
other people, that architects should be driven
and not followed, and was plainly resolved to
make this house the logical development of
many cherished ideas. It is not strange, there
fore, that the edifice was completed by a Chi
cago contractor who had less self-respect than
Mr. Willis, the latter having abruptly refused
to have his name tacked on to the work.
Mohair was finished and ready for occupation
in July, two years after the suit. I drove out
one day before Mr. Cooke's arrival to look it
over. The grounds, where Farrar had had mat
ters pretty much his own way, to my mind
rivalled the best private parks in the East.
The stables were filled with a score or so of
Mr. Cooke's best horses, brought hither in his
private cars, and the trotters were exercising
on the track.
The middle of June found Farrar and myself
at the Asquith Inn. It was Farrar's custom to
go to Asquith in the summer, being near the
The Celebrity 31
forest properties in his charge ; and since
Asquith was but five miles from the county-
seat it was convenient for me, and gave me
the advantages of the lake breezes and a com
parative rest, which I should not have had in
town. At that time Asquith was a small com
munity of summer residents from Cincinnati,
Chicago, St. Louis, and other western cities,
most of whom owned cottages and the grounds
around them. They were a quiet lot that long
association had made clannish ; and they had
a happy faculty, so rare in summer resorts, of
discrimination between an amusement and a
nuisance. Hence a great many diversions which
are accounted pleasurable elsewhere are at As
quith set down at their true value. It was,
therefore, rather with resentment than other
wise that the approaching arrival of Mr. Cooke
and the guests he was likely to have at
Mohair were looked upon.
I had not been long at Asquith before I
discovered that Farrar was acting in a peculiar
manner, though I was longer in finding out
what the matter was. I saw much less of him
than in town. Once in a while in the even
ings, after ten, he would run across me on
32 The Celebrity
the porch of the inn, or drift into my rooms.
Even after three years of more or less inti
macy between us, Farrar still wore his exterior
of pessimism and indifference, the shell with
which he chose to hide a naturally warm and
affectionate disposition. In the dining-room
we sat together at the end of a large table
set aside for bachelors and small families of
two or three, and it seemed as though we had
all the humorists and story-tellers in that place.
And Farrar as a source of amusement proved
equal to the best of them. He would wait
until a story was well under way, and then an
nihilate the point of it with a cutting cynicism
and set the table in a roar of laughter. Among
others who were seated here was a Mr. Trevor,
of Cincinnati, one of the pioneers of Asquith.
Mr. Trevor was a trifle bombastic, with a ten
dency towards gesticulation, an art which he
had learned in no less a school than the Ohio
State Senate. He was a self-made man, a
fact which he took good care should not escape
one, and had amassed his money, I believe,
in the dry-goods business. He always wore a
long, shiny coat, a low, turned-down collar, and
a black tie, all of which united to give him
The Celebrity 33
the general appearance of a professional pall
But Mr. Trevor possessed a daughter who
amply made up for his shortcomings. She was
the only one who could meet Farrar on his own
ground, and rarely a meal passed that they did
not have a tilt. They filled up the holes of the
conversation with running commentaries, giving
a dig at the luckless narrator and a side-slap
at each other, until one would have given his
oath they were sworn enemies. At least I, in
the innocence of my heart, thought so until
I was forcibly enlightened. I had taken rather
a prejudice to Miss Trevor. I could find no
better reason than her antagonism to Farrar.
I was revolving this very thing in my mind
one day as I was paddling back to the inn after
a look at my client's new pier and boat-houses,
when I descried Farrar's catboat some distance
out. The lake was glass, and the sail hung
lifeless. It was near lunch-time, and charity
prompted me to head for the boat and give it
a tow homeward. As I drew near, Farrar him
self emerged from behind the sail and asked
me, with a great show of nonchalance, what I
34 The Celebrity
"To tow you back for lunch, of course," I
answered, used to his ways.
He threw me a line, which I made fast to the
stern, and then he disappeared again. I thought
this somewhat strange, but as the boat was a
light one, I towed it in and hitched it to the
wharf, when, to my great astonishment, there
disembarked not Farrar, but Miss Trevor.
She leaped lightly ashore and was gone before
I could catch my breath, while Farrar let down
the sail and offered me a cigarette. I had
learned a lesson in appearances.
It could not have been very long after this
that I was looking over my batch of New York
papers, which arrived weekly, when my eye was
arrested by a name. I read the paragraph,
which announced the fact that my friend the
Celebrity was about to sail for Europe in search
of " color " for his next novel ; this was already
contracted for at a large price, and was to be of
a more serious nature than any of his former
work. An interview was published in which
the Celebrity had declared that a new novel
was to appear in a short time. I do not know
what impelled me, but I began at once to
search through the other papers, and found
The Celebrity 35
almost identically the same notice in all oi
By one of those odd coincidents which some
times start one to thinking, the Celebrity was
the subject of a lively discussion when I reached
the table that evening. I had my quota of in
formation concerning his European trip, but I
did not commit myself when appealed to for an
opinion. I had once known the man (which,
however, I did not think it worth while to
mention) and I did not feel justified in criticis
ing him in public. Besides, what I knew of
him was excellent, and entirely apart from the
literary merit or demerit of his work. The
others, however, were within their right when
they censured or praised him, and they did
both. Farrar, in particular, surprised me by
the violence of his attacks, while Miss Trevor
took up the Celebrity's defence with equal
ardor. Her motives were beyond me now.
The Celebrity's works spoke for themselves,
she said, and she could not and would not
believe such injurious reports of one who
wrote as he did.
The next day I went over to the county-seat,
and got back to Asquith after dark. I dined
36 The Celebrity
alone, and afterwards I was strolling up and
down one end of the long veranda when I
caught sight of a lonely figure in a corner,
with chair tilted back and feet on the rail.
A gleam of a cigar lighted up the face, and
I saw that it was Farrar. I sat down beside
him, and we talked commonplaces for a while,
Farrar's being almost monosyllabic, while now
and again feminine voices and feminine laugh
ter reached our ears from the far end of the
porch. They seemed to go through Farrar like
a knife, and he smoked furiously, his lips tightly
compressed the while. I had a dozen conjec
tures, none of which I dared voice. So I
waited in patience.
"Crocker," said he, at length, "there's a
man here from Boston, Charles Wrexell Allen ;
came this morning. You know Boston. Have
you ever heard of him ? "
"Allen," I repeated, reflecting; "no Charles
" It is Charles Wrexell, I think," said Farrar,
as though the matter were trivial. " However,
we can go into the register and make sure."
" What about him ? " I asked, not feeling
inclined to stir.
The Celebrity 37
"Oh, nothing. An arrival is rather an oc
currence, though. You can hear him down
there now," he added, tossing his head towards
the other end of the porch, "with the women
In fact, I did catch the deeper sound of a
man's voice among the lighter tones, and the
voice had a ring to it which was not wholly
unfamiliar, although I could not place it.
I threw Farrar a bait.
"He must make friends easily," I said.
"With the women? yes," he replied, so
scathingly that I was forced to laugh in spite
" Let us go in and look at the register,"
I suggested. " You may have his name
We went in accordingly. Sure enough, in
bold, heavy characters, was the name Charles
Wrexell A lien written out in full. That hand
writing was one in a thousand. I made sure I
had seen it before, and yet I did not know it ;
and the more I puzzled over it the more con
fused I became. I turned to Farrar.
"I have had a poor cigar passed off on me
and deceive me for a while. That is precisely
38 The Celebrity
the case here. I think I should recognize yout
man if I were to see him."
"Well," said Farrar, "here's your chance."
The company outside were moving in. Two
or three of the older ladies came first, carrying
their wraps ; then a troop of girls, among whom
was Miss Trevor; and lastly, a man. Farrar
and I had walked to the door while the women
turned into the drawing-room, so that we were
brought face to face with him, suddenly. At
sight of me he halted abruptly, as though he had
struck the edge of a door, changed color, and
held out his hand, tentatively. Then he with
drew it again, for I made no sign of recognition.
It was the Celebrity !
I felt a shock of disgust as I passed out.
Masquerading, it must be admitted, is not pleas
ant to the taste ; and the whole farce, as it
flashed through my mind, his advertised trip,
his turning up here under an assumed name,
had an ill savor. Perhaps some of the things
they said of him might be true, after all.
"Who the devil is he?" said Farrar, drop
ping for once his indifference ; " he looked as if
he knew you."
The Celebrity 39
" He may have taken me for some one else,"
I answered with all the coolness I could muster.
" I have never met any one of his name. His
voice and handwriting, however, are very much
like those of a man I used to know."
Farrar was very poor company that evening,
and left me early. I went to my rooms and
had taken down a volume of Carlyle, who can
generally command my attention, when there
came a knock at the door.
"Come in," I replied, with an instinctive
sense of prophecy.
This was fulfilled at once by the appearance
of the Celebrity. He was attired for the de
tails of his dress forced themselves upon me
vividly in a rough-spun suit of knickerbockers,
a colored shirt having a large and prominent
gold stud, red and brown stockings of a diamond
pattern, and heavy walking-boots. And he
entered with an air of assurance that was
"My dear Crocker," he exclaimed, "you have
no idea how delighted I am to see you here ! "
I rose, first placing a book-mark in Carlyle,
and assured him that I was surprised to see him
4O The Celebrity
"Surprised to see me !" he returned, far from
being damped by my manner. " In fact, I am a
little surprised to see myself here."
He sank back on the window-seat and clasped
his hands behind his head.
" But first let me thank you for respecting my
incognito," he said.
I tried hard to keep my temper, marvelling at
the ready way he had chosen to turn my action.
"And now," he continued, "I suppose you
want to know why I came out here." He easily
supplied the lack of cordial solicitation on my
"Yes, I should like to know," I said.
Thus having aroused my curiosity, he took his
time about appeasing it, after the custom of his
kind. He produced a gold cigarette case, offered
me a cigarette, which I refused, took one him
self and blew the smoke in rings toward the
ceiling. Then, raising himself on his elbow, he
drew his features together in such a way as to
lead me to believe he was about to impart some
"Crocker," said he, "it's the very deuce to be
famous, isn't it ? "
"I suppose it is," I replied curtly, wondering
The Celebrity 41
what he was driving at ; "I have never tried
"An ordinary man, such as you, can't con
ceive of the torture a fellow in my position is
obliged to go through the year round, but espe
cially in the summer, when one wishes to go off
on a rest. You know what I mean, of course."
" I am afraid I do not," I answered, in a vain
endeavor to embarrass him.
" You're thicker than when I used to know
you, then," he returned with candor. "To tell
the truth, Crocker, I often wish I were back at
the law, and had never written a line. I am
paying the penalty of fame. Wherever I go I
am hounded to death by the people who have
read my books, and they want to dine and wine
me for the sake of showing me off at their
houses. I am heartily sick and tired of it all ;
you would be if you had to go through it. I
could stand a winter, but the worst comes in the
summer, when one meets the women who fire
all sorts of socio-psychological questions at one
for solution, and who have suggestions for
stories." He shuddered.
"And what has all this to do with your coming
here ? " I cut in, strangling a smile.
42 The Celebrity
He twisted his cigarette at an acute angle
with his face, and looked at me out of the corner
of his eye.
"I'll try to be a little plainer," he went on,
sighing as one unused to deal with people who
require crosses on their fs. " I've been worried
almost out of my mind with attention nothing
but attention the whole time. I can't go on
the street but what I'm stared at and pointed
out, so I thought of a scheme to relieve it for a
time. It was becoming unbearable. I deter
mined to assume a name and go to some quiet
little place for the summer, West, if possible,
where I was not likely to be recognized, and
have three months of rest."
He paused, but I offered no comment.
" Well, the more I thought of it, the better I
liked the idea. I met a western man at the club
and asked him about western resorts, quiet
ones. ' Have you heard of Asquith ? ' says he.
' No,' said I ; ' describe it.' He did, and it was
just the place ; quaint, restful, and retired. Of
course I put him off the track, but I did not
count on striking you. My man boxed up, and
we were off in twenty-four hours, and here I
The Celebrity 43
Now all this was very fine, but not at all in
keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had
come to conceive it. The idea that adulation
ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In
fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came
very near to saying so.
"You won't tell anyone who I am, will you?"
he asked anxiously.
He even misinterpreted my silences.
" Certainly not," I replied. " It is no concern
of mine. You might come here as Emil Zola
or Ralph Waldo Emerson and it would make no
difference to me."
He looked at me dubiously, even suspiciously.
"That's a good chap," said he, and was gone,
leaving me to reflect on the ways of genius.
And the longer I reflected, the more positive
I became that there existed a more potent reason
for the Celebrity's disguise than ennui. As
actions speak louder than words, so does a
man's character often give the lie to his tongue.
A LION in an ass's skin is still a lion in spite
of his disguise. Conversely, the same might
be said of an ass in a lion's skin. The Celeb
rity ran after women with the same readiness
and helplessness that a dog will chase chickens,
or that a stream will run down hill. Women
differ from chickens, however, in the fact that
they find pleasure in being chased by a certain
kind of a man. The Celebrity was this kind of
a man. From the moment his valet deposited
his luggage in his rooms, Charles Wrexell Allen
became the social hero of Asquith. It is by
straws we are enabled to tell which way the
wind is blowing, and I first noticed his par
tiality for Miss Trevor from the absence of
the lively conflicts she was wont to have with
Farrar. These ceased entirely after the Celeb
rity's arrival. It was the latter who now com
manded the conversation at our table.
I was truly sorry for Farrar, for I knew the
man, the depth of his nature, and the scope of
The Celebrity 45
the shock. He carried it off altogether too
well, and both the studied lightness of his
actions and the increased carelessness of his
manner made me fear that what before was
feigned, might turn to a real bitterness.
For Farrar's sake, if the Celebrity had been
content with women in general, all would have
been well ; but he was unable to generalize, in
one sense, and to particularize, in another.
And it was plain that he wished to monopolize
Miss Trevor, while still retaining a hold upon
the others. For my sake, had he been content
with women alone, I should have had no cause
to complain. But it seemed that I had an
attraction for him, second only to women,
which I could not account for. And I began
to be cursed with a great deal of his company.
Since he was absolutely impervious to hints,
and would not take no for an answer, I was
helpless. When he had no engagement he
would thrust himself on me. He seemed to
know by intuition for I am very sure I never
told him what my amusement was to be the
mornings I did not go to the county-seat, and
he would invariably turn up, properly equipped,
as I was making my way with Judge Short to
46 The Celebrity
the tennis court, or carrying my oars to the
water. It was in vain that I resorted to sub
terfuge : that I went to bed early intending to
be away before the Celebrity's rising hour. I
found he had no particular rising hour. No
matter how early I came down, I would find
him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or
otherwise his man would be there with a mes
sage to say that his master would shortly join
me if I would kindly wait. And at last I began
to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion
was futile, and to take such holidays as I could
get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of
Much of this persecution I might have put
up with, indeed, had I not heard, in one way or
another, that he was doing me the honor of call
ing me his intimate. This I could not stand,
and I soberly resolved to leave Asquith and go
back to town, which I should indeed have done
if deliverance had not arrived from an unex
One morning I had been driven to the pre
carious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn,
after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join
him in a variety of amusements. But even
The Celebrity 47
here I was not free from interruption, for he
was seated on a horse-block below me, playing
with a fox terrier. Judge Short had gone to
town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise
up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not
gone with him when the distant notes of a coach
horn reached my ear, and 1 descried a four-in-
hand winding its way up the inn road from the
direction of Mohair.
"That must be your friend Cooke," remarked
the Celebrity, looking up.
There could be no doubt of it. With little
difficulty I recognized on the box the familiar
figure of my first important client, and beside
him was a lady whom I supposed to be Mrs.
Farquhar Fenelon Cooke, although I had had
no previous knowledge that such a person ex
isted. The horses were on a brisk trot, and
Mr. Cooke seemed to be getting the best out
of them for the benefit of the sprinkling of
people on the inn porch. Indeed, I could not
but admire the dexterous turn of the wrist
which served Mr. Cooke to swing his leaders
into the circle and up the hill, while the liveried
guard leaned far out in anticipation of a stumble.
Mr. Cooke hailed me with a beaming smile and
48 The Celebrity
a flourish of the whip as he drew up and de
scended from the box.
"Maria," he exclaimed, giving me a hearty
grip, "this is the man that won Mohair. My
I was somewhat annoyed at this effusiveness
before the Celebrity, but I looked up and caught
Mrs. Cooke's eye. It was the calm eye of a
" I am glad of the opportunity to thank you,
Mr. Crocker," she said simply. And I liked
her from that moment.
Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the
residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and
generally disgraceful condition of the roads.
So roundly did he vituperate the inn manage
ment in particular, and with such a loud flow of
words, that I trembled lest he should be heard
on the veranda. The Celebrity stood by the
block, in an amazement which gave me a wicked
pleasure, and it was some minutes before I had
the chance to introduce him.
Mr. Cooke's idea of an introduction, however,
was no mere word-formula : it was fraught with
a deeper and a bibulous meaning. He presented
the Celebrity to his wife, and then invited both
The Celebrity 49
of us to go inside with him by one of those neat
and cordial paraphrases in which he was skilled.
I preferred to remain with Mrs. Cooke, and it
was with a gleam of hope at a possible deliver
ance from my late persecution that I watched
the two disappear together through the hall and
into the smoking-room.
"How do you like Mohair?" I asked Mrs.
" Do you mean the house or the park ? " she
Jaughed ; and then, seeing my embarrassment,
she went on : " Oh, the house is just like every
thing else Fenelon meddles with. Outside it's
a mixture of all the styles, and inside a hash of
all the nationalities from Siamese to Spanish.
Fenelon hangs the Oriental tinsels he has col
lected on pieces of black baronial oak, and the
coat-of-arms he had designed by our Philadelphia
jewellers is stamped on the dining-room chairs,
and even worked into the fire screens."
There was nothing paltry in her criticism of
her husband, nothing she would not have said
to his face. She was a woman who made you
feel this, for sincerity was written all over her.
I could not help wondering why she gave Mr.
Cooke line in the matter of household decora-
50 The Celebrity
tion, unless it was that he considered Mohaif
his own, private hobby, and that she humored
him. Mrs. Cooke was not without tact, and I
have no doubt she perceived my reluctance to
talk about her husband and respected it.
" We drove down to bring you back to lunch
eon," she said.
I thanked her and accepted. She was curious
to hear about Asquith and its people, and I told
her all I knew.
"I should like to meet some of them," she
explained, "for we intend having a cotillon at
Mohair, a kind of house-warming, you know.
A party of Mr. Cooke's friends is coming out
for it in his car, and he thought something of
inviting the people of Asquith up for a dance."
I had my doubts concerning the wisdom of an
entertainment, the success of which depended
on the fusion of a party of Mr. Cooke's friends
and a company from Asquith. But I held my
peace. She shot a question at me suddenly :
"Who is this Mr. Allen?"
" He registers from Boston, and only came a
fortnight ago," I replied vaguely.
" He doesn't look quite right ; as though he
had been set down on the wrong planet, you
The Celebrity 51
know," said Mrs. Cooke, her finger on her
temple. "What is he like?"
" Well," I answered, at first with uncertainty,
then with inspiration, " he would do splendidly
to lead your cotillon, if you think of having
" So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker ? "
I was somewhat set back by her perspicacity.
" No, I do not," said I.
" I thought not," she said, laughing. It must
have been my expression which prompted her
" I was not making fun of you," she said,
more soberly ; " I do not like Mr. Allen any
better than you do, and I have only seen him
"But I have not said I did not like him," I
" Of course not," said Mrs. Cooke, quizzically.
At that moment, to my relief, I discerned the
Celebrity and Mr. Cooke in the hallway.
" Here they come, now," she went on. " I
do wish Fenelon would keep his hands off the
people he meets. I can feel he is going to
make an intimate of that man. Mark my
words, Mr. Crocker."
52 The Celebrity
I not only marked them, I prayed for their
There was that in Mr. Cooke which, for want
of a better name, I will call instinct. As he
came down the steps, his arm linked in that of
the Celebrity, his attitude towards his wife was
both apologetic and defiant. He had at once
the air of a child caught with a forbidden toy,
and that of a stripling of twenty-one who flaunts
a cigar in his father's face.
"Maria," he said, "Mr. Allen has consented
to come back with us for lunch."
We drove back to Mohair, Mr. Cooke and the
Celebrity on the box, Mrs. Cooke and I behind.
Except to visit the boathouses I had not been
to Mohair since the day of its completion, and
now the full beauty of the approach struck me
for the first time. We swung by the lodge,
the keeper holding open the iron gate as we
passed, and into the wide driveway, hewn, as it
were, out of the virgin forest. The sandy soil
had been strengthened by a deep road-bed of
clay imported from the interior, which was
spread in turn with a fine gravel, which
crunched under the heavy wheels. From the
lodge to the house, a full mile, branches had
The Celebrity 53
oeen pruned to let the sunshine sift through
in splotches, but the wild nature of the place
had been skilfully retained. We curved hither
and thither under the giant trees until suddenly,
as a whip straightens in the snapping, one of
the ancient tribes of the forest might have sent
an arrow down the leafy gallery into the open,
and at the far end we caught sight of the
palace framed in the vista. It was a triumph
for Farrar, and I wished that the palace had
been more worthy.
The Celebrity did not stint his praises of
Mohair, coming up the drive, but so lavish were
his comments on the house that they won for
him a lasting place in Mr. Cooke's affections,
and encouraged my client to pull up his horses
in a favorable spot, and expand on the beauties
of the mansion.
"Taking it altogether," said he, complacently,
"it is rather a neat box, and I let myself loose
on it. I had all these ideas I gathered knock
ing about the world, and I gave them to Willis,
of Philadelphia, to put together for me. But
he's honest enough not to claim the house.
Take, for instance, that minaret business on
the west ; I picked that up from a mosque in
54 The Celebrity
Algiers. The oriel just this side is whole cloth
from Haddon Hall, and the galleried porch next
it from a Florentine villa. The conical capped
tower I got from a French chdteau, and some
of the features on the south from a Buddhist
temple in Japan. Only a little blending and
grouping was necessary, and Willis calls him
self an architect, and wasn't equal to it. Now,"
he added, "get the effect. Did you ever see
another house like it ? "
" Magnificent ! " exclaimed the Celebrity.
"And then," my client continued, warming
under this generous appreciation, "there's some
thing very smart about those colors. They're
my racing colors. Of course the granite's a
little off, but it isn't prominent. Willis kicked
hard when it came to painting the oriel yellow,
but an architect always takes it for granted he
knows it all, and a "
"Fenelon," said Mrs. Cooke, "luncheon is
Mrs. Cooke dominated at luncheon and re
tired, and it is certain that both Mr. Cooke and
the Celebrity breathed more freely when she
had gone. If her criticisms on the exterior of
the house were just, those on the interior were
The Celebrity 55
more so. Not only did I find the coat-of-arms
set forth on the chairs, fire-screens, and other
prominent articles, but it was even cut into the
swinging door of the butler's pantry. The
motto I am afraid my client never took the
trouble to have translated, and I am inclined to
think his jewellers put up a little joke on him
when they chose it. " Be Sober and Boast not."
I observed that Mrs. Cooke, when she chose,
could exert the subduing effect on her husband
of a soft pedal on a piano ; and during luncheon
she kept the soft pedal on. And the Celebrity,
being in some degree a kindred spirit, was also
held in check. But his wife had no sooner left
the room when Mr. Cooke began on the sub
ject uppermost in his mind. I had suspected
that his trip to Asquith that morning was for a
purpose at which Mrs. Cooke had hinted. But
she, with a woman's tact, had aimed to accom
plish by degrees that which her husband would
carry by storm.
"You've been at Asquith some time, Crocker,"
Mr. Cooke began, "long enough to know the
"I know some of them," I said guardedly
But the rush was not to be stemmed.
56 The Celebrity
"How many do you think you can muster
for that entertainment of mine? Fifty? I
ought to have fifty, at least. Suppose you pick
out fifty, and send me up the names. I want
good lively ones, you understand, that will stir
" I am afraid there are not fifty of that kind
there," I replied.
His face fell, but brightened again instantly.
He appealed to the Celebrity.
" How about it, old man ? " said he.
The Celebrity answered, with becoming mod
esty, that the Asquithians were benighted.
They had never had any one to show them how
to enjoy life. But there was hope for them.
"That's it," exclaimed my client, slapping his
thigh, and turning triumphantly to me, he con
tinued, "You Ye all right, Crocker, and know
enough to win a damned big suit, but you're
not the man to steer a delicate thing of this
This is how, to my infinite relief, the Celeb
rity came to engineer the matter of the house-
warming ; and to him it was much more
congenial. He accepted the task cheerfully,
and went about it in such a manner as to leave
The Celebrity 57
no doubt in my mind as to its ultimate success.
He was a master hand at just such problems,
and this one had a double attraction. It pleased
him to be thought the arbiter of such a worthy
cause, while he acquired a prominence at As-
quith which satisfied in some part a craving
which he found inseparable from incognito.
His tactics were worthy of a skilled diploma
tist. Before we left Mohair that day he had
exacted as a condition that Mr. Cooke should
not appear at the inn or in its vicinity until
after the entertainment. To this my client
readily pledged himself with that absolute free
dom from suspicion which formed one of the
most admirable traits of his character. The
Celebrity, being intuitively quick where women
were concerned, had surmised that Mrs. Cooke
did not like him ; but as her interests in the
affair of the cotillon coincided with those of
Mr. Cooke, she was available as a means to an
end. The Celebrity deemed her, from a social
standpoint, decidedly the tetter part of the
Mohair establishment, and he contrived, by a
system of manoeuvres I failed to grasp, to throw
her forward while he kept Mr. Cooke in the
58 The Celebrity
He had much to contend with ; above all, an
antecedent prejudice against the Cookes, in
reality a prejudice against the world, the flesh,
and the devil, natural to any quiet community,
and of which Mohair and its appurtenances
were taken as the outward and visible signs.
Older people came to Asquith for simplicity
and rest, and the younger ones were brought
there for these things. Nearly all had sufficient
wealth to seek, if they chose, gayety and osten
tation at the eastern resorts. But Asquithians
held gayety and ostentation at a discount, and
maintained there was gayety enough at home.
If any one were fitted to overcome this preju
dice, it was Mrs. Cooke. Her tastes and man
ners were as simple as her gowns. The Celeb
rity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge
Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair
on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was
trying a trotter on the track. The three re
turned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke ;
they were sure she had had no hand in the fur
nishing of that atrocious house. Their example
was followed by others at a time when the
master of Mohair was superintending in person
the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally
The Celebrity 59
invisible. These ladies likewise came back to
sing Mrs. Cooke's praises. Mrs. Cooke re
turned the calls. She took tea on the inn
veranda, and drove Mrs. Short around Mohair
in her victoria.
Mr. Cooke being seen only on rare and fleet
ing occasions, there gradually got abroad a most
curious misconception of that gentleman's char
acter, while over his personality floated a mist
of legend which the Celebrity took good care
not to dispel. Farrar, who despised nonsense,
was ironical and non-committal when appealed
to, and certainly I betrayed none of my client's
attributes. Hence it came that Asquith, before
the house-warming, knew as little about Far-
quhar Fenelon Cooke, the man, as the nineteenth
century knows about William Shakespeare, and
was every whit as curious. Like Shakespeare,
Mr. Cooke was judged by his works, and from
these he was generally conceded to be an illit
erate and indifferent person of barbarous tastes
and a mania for horses. He was further de
scribed as ungentlemanly by a brace of spin
sters who had been within earshot on the
veranda the morning he had abused the As
quith roads, but their evidence was not looked
60 The Celebrity
upon as damning. That Mr. Cooke would
appear at the cotillon never entered any one's
Thus it was, for a fortnight, Mr. Cooke main
tained a most rigid seclusion. Would that he
had discovered in the shroud of mystery the
cloak of fame !
IT was small wonder, said the knowing at
Asquith, that Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen should
be attracted by Irene Trevor. With the lake
breezes of the north the red and the tan came
into her cheeks, those boon companions of the
open who are best won by the water-winds.
Perhaps they brought, too, the spring to the
step and the light under the long lashes when
she flashed a look across the table. Little by
little it became plain that Miss Trevor was
gaining ground with the Celebrity to the neg
lect of the other young women at Asquith, and
when it was announced that he was to lead the
cotillon with her, the fact was regarded as sig
nificant. Even at Asquith such things were
talked about. Mr. Allen became a topic and
a matter of conjecture. He was, I believe,
generally regarded as a good match ; his unim
peachable man-servant argued worldly posses
sions, of which other indications were not
lacking, while his crest was cited as a mate-
62 The Celebrity
rial sign of family. Yet when Miss Brewster,
one of the brace of spinsters, who hailed from
Brookline and purported to be an up-to-date
.edition of the Boston Blue Book, questioned the
Celebrity on this vital point after the searching
manner warranted by the gravity of the subject,
he was unable to acquit himself satisfactorily.
When this conversation was repeated in detail
within the hearing of the father of the young
woman in question, and undoubtedly for his
benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds
and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and
there by proclaiming his father to have been
a country storekeeper.
In the eyes of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke
the apotheosis of the Celebrity was complete.
The people of Asquith were not only willing
to attend the house-warming, but had been
worked up to the pitch of eagerness. The
Celebrity as a matter of course was master of
ceremonies. He originated the figures and
arranged the couples, of which there were
twelve from Asquith and ten additional young
women. These ten were assigned to the ten
young men whom Mr. Cooke expected in his
private car, and whose appearances, heights,
The Celebrity 63
and temperaments the Celebrity obtained from
Mr. Cooke, carefully noted, and compared with
those of the young women. Be it said in pass
ing that Mrs. Cooke had nothing to do with
any of it, but exhibited an almost criminal in
difference. Mr. Cooke had even chosen the
favors ; charity forbids that I should say what
Owing to the frequent consultations which
these preparations made necessary the Celebrity
was much in the company of my client, which
he came greatly to prefer to mine, and I there
fore abandoned my determination to leave
Asquith. I was settling down delightedly to
my old, easy, and unmolested existence when
Farrar and I received an invitation, which
amounted to a summons, to go to Mohair and
make ourselves generally useful. So we packed
up and went. We made an odd party before
the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the
Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He
could not be induced to remain permanently
at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith,
but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from
the Mohair stables and made the trip some
times twice in a clay. The fact that Mrs. Cooke
64 The Celebrity
treated him with unqualified disapproval did
not dampen his spirits or lessen the frequency
of his visits, nor, indeed, did it seem to create
any breach between husband and wife. Mr.
Cooke took it for granted that his friends
should not please his wife, and Mrs. Cooke
remarked to Farrar and me that her husband
was old enough to know better, and too old to
be taught. She loved him devotedly and showed
it in a hundred ways, but she was absolutely
incapable of dissimulation.
Thanks to Mrs. Cooke, our visit to Mohair
was a pleasant one. We were able in many
ways to help in the arrangements, especially
Farrar, who had charge of decorating the
grounds. We saw but little of Mr. Cooke and
The arrival of the Ten was an event of im
portance, and occurred the day of the dance.
I shall treat the Ten as a whole because they
did not materially differ from one another in
dress or habits or ambition or general useful
ness on this earth. It is true that Mr. Cooke
had been able to make delicate distinctions
between them for the aid of the Celebrity, but
such distinctions were beyond me, and the
The Celebrity 65
power to make them lay only in a long and
careful study of the species which I could not
afford to give. Likewise the life of any one
of the Ten was the life of all, and might be
truthfully represented by a single year, since
each year was exactly like the preceding. The
ordinary year, as is well-known, begins on the
first of January. But theirs was not the ordi
nary year, nor the Church year, nor the fiscal
year. Theirs began in the Fall with the New
York Horse Show. And I am of the opinion,
though open to correction, that they dated from
the first Horse Show instead of from the birth
of Christ. It is certain that they were much
better versed in the history of the Association
than in that of the Union, in the biography of
Excelsior rather than that of Lincoln. The
Dog Show was another event to which they
looked forward, when they migrated to New
York and put up at the country places of their
friends. But why go farther ?
The Ten made themselves very much at home
at Mohair. One of them told the Celebrity he
reminded him very much of a man he had met
in New York and who had written a book, or
something of that sort, which made the Celeb-
66 The Celebrity
rity wince. The afternoon was spent in one
of the stable lofts, where Mr. Cooke had set
up a mysterious L-shaped box, in one arm of
which a badger was placed by a groom, while
my client's Sarah, a terrier, was sent into the
other arm to invite the badger out. His ob
jections exceeded the highest hopes ; he dug
his claws into the wood and devoted himself
to Sarahs countenance with unremitting in
dustry. This occupation was found so absorb
ing that it was with difficulty the Ten were
induced to abandon it and dress for an early
dinner, and only did so after the second per
emptory message from Mrs. Cooke.
"It's always this way," said Mr. Cooke, re
gretfully, as he watched Sarah licking the acces
sible furrows in her face ; " I never started in
on anything worth doing yet that Maria did
not stop it."
Farrar and I were not available for the dance,
and after dinner we looked about for a quiet
spot in which to weather it, and where we could
be within reach if needed. Such a place as
this was the Florentine galleried porch, which
ran along outside the upper windows of the
ball-room ; these were flung open, for the night
The Celebrity 67
was warm. At one end of the room the musi
cians, imported from Minneapolis by Mr. Cooke,
were striking the first discordant notes of the
tuning, while at the other the Celebrity and
my client, in scarlet hunting-coats, were gravely
instructing the Ten, likewise in scarlet hunting-
coats, as to their conduct and functions. We
were reviewing these interesting proceedings
when Mrs. Cooke came hurrying towards us.
She held a letter in her hand.
"You know," said she, "that Mr. Cooke is
forgetful, particularly when his mind is occupied
with important matters, as it has been for some
time. Here is a letter from my niece, Miss
Thorn, which he has carried in his pocket since
Monday. We expected her two weeks ago, and
had given her up. But it seems she was to
leave Philadelphia on Wednesday, and will be
at that forlorn little station of Asquith at half-
past nine to-night. I want you two to go over
and meet her."
We expressed our readiness, and in ten min
utes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly
down the long drive, for it was then after nine.
We passed on the way the van of the guests
from Asquith. As we reached the lodge we
68 The Celebrity
heard the whistle, and we backed up against
one side of the platform as the train pulled
up at the other.
Farrar and I are not imaginative ; we did not
picture to ourselves any particular type for the
girl we were going to meet, we were simply
doing our best to get to the station before the
train. We jumped from the wagon and were
watching the people file out of the car, and I
noticed that more than one paused to look back
over their shoulders as they reached the door.
Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls,
and after her a tall young lady. She stood for
a moment holding her skirt above the grimy
steps, with something of the stately pose which
Richter has given his Queen Louise on the
stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full
upon her. She looked around expectantly, and
recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid, who had stepped
forward to relieve hers of the shawls, Miss
Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly
prepossessed us in her favor.
" How do you do, Jennie ? " she said. " Did
any one else come?"
"Yes, Miss Marian," replied Jennie, abashed
but pleased, " these gentlemen."
The Celebrity 69
Farrar and I introduced ourselves, awkwardly
enough, and we both tried to explain at once
how it was that neither Mr. nor Mrs. Cooke
was there to meet her. Of course we made
an absolute failure of it. She scanned our faces
with a puzzled expression for a while and then
broke into a laugh.
" I think I understand," she said ; " they are
having the house-warming."
" She's first-rate at guessing," said Farrar to
me as we fled precipitately to see that the
trunks were hoisted into the basket.
Neither of us had much presence of mind as
we climbed into the wagon, and, what was even
stranger, could not account for the lack of it.
Miss Thorn was seated in the corner ; in spite
of the darkness I could see that she was laugh-
ing at us still.
" I feel very badly that I should have taken
you away from the dance," we heard her say.
"We don't dance," I answered clumsily,
"and we were glad to come."
" Yes, we were glad to come," Farrar chimed
Then we relapsed into a discomfited silence,
and wished we were anywhere else. But Miss
70 The Celebrity
Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud,
and with such a hearty enjoyment that instead
of getting angry and more mortified we began
to laugh ourselves, and instantly felt better.
After that we got along famously. She had at
once the air of good fellowship and the dignity
of a woman, and she seemed to understand Far-
rar and me perfectly. Not once did she take us
over our heads, though she might have done so
with ease, and we knew this and were thankful.
We began to tell her about Mohair and the
cotillon, and of our point of observation from
the Florentine galleried porch, and she insisted
she would join us there. By the time we
reached the house we were thanking our stars
she had come. Mrs. Cooke came out under the
port-cochere to welcome her.
" Unfortunately there is no one to dance with
you, Marian," she said; "but if I had not by
chance gone through your uncle's pockets, there
would have been no one to meet you."
I think I had never felt my deficiency in.
dancing until that moment. But Miss Thorn
took her aunt's hand affectionately in hers.
"My dear Aunt Maria," said she, "I would
not dance to-night if there were twenty to choose
The Celebrity 71
from. I should like nothing better than to look
on with these two. We are the best of friends
already," she added, turning towards us, "are
we not ? "
" We are indeed," we hastened to assure her.
Mrs. Cooke smiled.
"You should have been a man, Marian," she
said as they went upstairs together.
We made our way to the galleried porch and
sat down, there being a lull in the figures just
then. We each took out a cigar and lighted a
match, and then looked across at the other. We
solemnly blew our matches out.
" Perhaps she doesn't like smoke," said Far-
rar, voicing the sentiment.
" Perhaps not," said I.
"I wonder how she will get along with the
Ten ? " I queried.
" Better than with us," he answered in his
usual strain. "They're trained."
" Or with Allen ? " I added irresistibly.
" Women are all alike," said Farrar.
At this juncture Miss Thorn herself appeared
at the end of the gallery, her shoulders wrapped
in a gray cape trimmed with fur. She stood
72 The Celebrity
regarding us with some amusement as we rose
to receive her.
" Light your cigars and be sensible," said she,
" or I shall go in."
We obeyed. The three of us turned to the
window to watch the figure, the music of which
was just beginning. Mr. Cooke, with the air of
an English squire at his own hunt ball, was
strutting contentedly up and down one end of
the room, now pausing to exchange a few hearty
words with some Presbyterian matron from
Asquith, now to congratulate Mr. Trevor on the
appearance of his daughter. Lined against the
opposite wall were the Celebrity and his ten
red-coated followers, just rising for the figure.
It was very plain that Miss Trevor was radiantly
happy; she was easily the handsomest girl in
the room, and I could not help philosophizing
when I saw her looking up into the Celebrity's
eyes upon the seeming inconsistency of nature,
who has armed and warned woman against all
but her most dangerous enemy.
And then a curious thing happened. The
Celebrity, as if moved by a sudden uncontrol
lable impulse, raised his eyes until they rested
on the window in which we were. Although his
The Celebrity 73
dancing was perfect, he lost the step without
apparent cause, his expression changed, and for
the moment he seemed to be utterly confused.
But only for the moment ; in a trice he had
caught the time again and swept Miss Trevor
rapidly down the room and out of sight. I
looked instinctively at the girl beside me. She
had thrown her head forward, and in the stream
ing light I saw that her lips were parted in a
I resolved upon a stroke.
"Mr. Allen," I remarked, "leads admirably."
" Mr. Allen ! " she exclaimed, turning on me.
"Yes, it is Mr. Allen who is leading," I
An expression of perplexity spread over her
face, but she said nothing. My curiosity was
aroused to a high pitch, and questions were ris
ing to my lips which I repressed with difficulty.
For Miss Thorn had displayed, purposely or not,
a reticence which my short acquaintance with
her compelled me to respect ; and, besides, I
was bound by a promise not to betray the
Celebrity's secret. I was, however, convinced
from what had occurred that she had met the
Celebrity in the East, and perhaps known him
74 The Celebrity
Had she fallen in love with him, as was the
common fate of all young women he met ? I
changed my opinion on this subject a dozen
times. Now I was sure, as I looked at her, that
she was far too sensible ; again, a doubt would
cross my mind as the Celebrity himself would
cross my view, the girl on his arm reduced to
adoration. I followed him narrowly when in
sight. Miss Thorn was watching him, too, her
eyes half closed, as though in thought. But
beyond the fact that he threw himself into the
dance with a somewhat increased fervor, perhaps,
his manner betokened no uneasiness, and not
even by a glance did he betray any disturbing
influence from above.
Thus we stood silently until the figure was
finished, when Miss Thorn seated herself in one
of the wicker chairs behind us.
"Doesn't it make you wish to dance?" said
Farrar to her. " It is hard luck you should be
doomed to spend the evening with two such
useless fellows as we are."
She did not catch his remark at first, as was
natural in a person preoccupied. Then she bit
her lips to repress a smile.
"I assure you, Mr. Farrar," she said with
The Celebrity 75
force, " I have never in my life wished to dance
as little as I do now."
But a voice interrupted her, and the scarlet
coat of the Celebrity was thrust into the light
between us. Farrar excused himself abruptly
" Never wished to dance less ! " cried the
Celebrity. " Upon my word, Miss Thorn, that's
too bad. I came up to ask you to reconsider
your determination, as one of the girls from
Asquith is leaving, and there is an extra man."
" You are very kind," said Miss Thorn, quietly,
"but I prefer to remain here."
My surmise, then, was correct. She had evi
dently met the Celebrity, and there was that in
his manner of addressing her, without any for
mal greeting, which seemed to point to a close
"You know Mr. Allen, then, Miss Thorn?"
"What can you mean ?" she exclaimed, wheel
ing on me ; " this is not Mr. Allen."
"Hang you, Crocker," the Celebrity put in
impatiently ; " Miss Thorn knows who I am as
well as you do."
" I confess it is a little puzzling," said she ;
76 The Celebrity
" perhaps it is because I am tired from travelling,
and my brain refuses to work. But why in the
name of all that is strange do you call him Mr.
The Celebrity threw himself into the chair
beside her and asked permission to light a
" I am going to ask you the favor of respect
ing my incognito, Miss Thorn, as Crocker has
done," he said. "Crocker knew me in the East,
too. I had not counted upon finding him at
Miss Thorn straightened herself and made a
gesture of impatience.
"An incognito !" she cried. "But you have
taken another man's name. And you already
had his face and figure !"
" That is so," he calmly returned ; " the name
was ready to hand, and so I took it. I don't
imagine it will make any difference to him. It's
only a whim of mine, and with me there's no
accounting for a whim. I make it a point to
gratify every one that strikes me. I confess to
being eccentric, you know."
" You must get an enormous amount of grati-
The Celebrity 77
fication out of this," she said dryly. "What if
the other man should happen along ? "
"Scarcely at Asquith."
"I have known stranger things to occur,"
The Celebrity smiled and smoked.
" I'll wager, now," he went on, "that you little
thought to find me here incognito. But it is
delicious, I assure you, to lead once more a com
monplace and unmolested existence."
" Delightful," said Miss Thorn.
" People never consider an author apart from
his work, you know, and I confess I had a desire
to find out how I would get along. And there
comes a time when a man wishes he had never
written a book, and a longing to be sought after
for his own sake and to be judged on his own
merits. And then it is a great relief to feel that
one is not at the beck and call of any one and
every one wherever one goes, and to know that
one is free to choose one's own companions and
do as one wishes."
" The sentiment is good," Miss Thorn agreed,
" very good. But doesn't it seem a little odd,
Mr. Crocker," she continued, appealing to me,
" that a man should take the pains to advertise
78 The Celebrity
a trip to Europe in order to gratify a whim of
this sort ? "
" It is indeed incomprehensible to me," I re
plied, with a kind of grim pleasure, "but you
must remember that I have always led a com
Although the Celebrity was almost impervious
to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit
visible signs of uneasiness, the consciousness
dawning upon him that his eccentricity was not
receiving the ovation it merited. It was with a
palpable relief that he heard the first warning
notes of the figure.
" Am I to understand that you wish me to do
my part in concealing your identity?" asked
Miss Thorn, cutting him short as he was ex
pressing pleasure at her arrival.
"If you will be so kind," he answered, and
departed with a bow.
There was a mischievous mirth in her eye as
she took her place in the window. Below in the
ball-room sat Miss Trevor surrounded by men,
and I saw her face lighting at the Celebrity's
"Who is that beautiful girl he is dancing
with ? " said Miss Thorn.
The Celebrity 79
I told her.
" Have you read his books ? " 4 she asked, after
" Some of them."
" So have I."
The Celebrity was not mentioned again that
As an endeavor to unite Mohair and Asquith
the cotillon had proved a dismal failure. They
were as the clay and the brass. The next
morning Asquith was split into factions and
rent by civil strife, and the porch of the inn
was covered by little knots of women, all trying
to talk at once ; their faces told an ominous tale.
Not a man was to be seen. The Minneapolis,
St. Paul, and Chicago papers, all of which had
previously contained elaborate illustrated ac
counts of Mr. Cooke's palatial park and resi
dence, came out that morning bristling with
headlines about the ball, incidentally holding up
the residents of a quiet and retiring little com
munity in a light that scandalized them beyond
measure. And Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen,
treasurer of the widely known Miles Standish
Bicycle Company, was said to have led the cotil
lon in a manner that left nothing to be desired.
So it was this gentleman whom the Celebrity
was personating ! A queer whim indeed.
The Celebrity 8 1
After that, I doubt if the court of Charles the
Second was regarded by the Puritans with a
greater abhorrence than was Mohair by the good
ladies of Asquith. Mr. Cooke and his ten
friends were branded as profligates whose very
scarlet coats bore witness that they were of the
devil. Mr. Cooke himself, who particularly
savored of brimstone, would much better have
remained behind the arras, for he was denounced
with such energy and bitterness that those who
might have attempted his defence were silent,
and their very silence told against them. Mr.
Cooke had indeed outdone himself in hospitality.
He had posted punch-bowls in every available
corner, and so industriously did he devote him
self to the duties of host, as he conceived them,
that as many as four of the patriarchs of Asquith
and pillars of the church had returned home
more or less insensible, while others were quite
incoherent. The odds being overwhelming, the
master of Mohair had at length fallen a victim
to his own good cheer. He took post with
Judge Short at the foot of the stair, where, in
spite of the protests of the Celebrity and of
other well-disposed persons, the two favored the
parting guests with an occasional impromptu
82 The Celebrity
song and waved genial good-byes to the ladies.
And, when Mrs. Short attempted to walk by
with her head in the air, as though the judge
were in an adjoining county, he so far forgot his
judicial dignity as to chuck her under the chin,
an act which was applauded with much boyish
delight by Mr. Cooke, and a remark which it is
just as well not to repeat. The judge desired to
spend the night at Mohair, but was afterwards
taken home by main force, and the next day his
meals were brought up to him. It is small
wonder that Mrs. Short was looked upon as the
head of the outraged party. The Ten were only
spoken of in whispers. Three of them had been
unable to come to time when the last figure was
called, whereupon their partners were whisked
off the scene without so much as being allowed
to pay their respects to the hostess. Besides
these offences, there were other minor barbar
isms too numerous to mention.
Although Mrs. Short's party was ail-powerful
at Asquith, there were some who, for various
reasons, refused to agree in the condemnation of
Mr. Cooke. Judge Short and the other gentle
men in his position were, of course, restricted,
but Mr. Trevor came out boldly in the face of
The Celebrity 83
severe criticism and declared that his daughter
should accept any invitation from Mrs* Cooke
that she chose, and paid but little attention to
the coolness resulting therefrom. He was fast
getting a reputation for oddity. And the Ce,
lebrity tried to conciliate both parties, and suc
ceeded, though none but he could have done it.
At first he was eyed with suspicion and disgust
as he drove off to Mohair in his Hempstead cart,
and was called many hard names. But he had a
way about him which won them in the end.
A few days later I ran over to Mohair and
found my client with the colored Sunday supple
ment of a Chicago newspaper spread out before
him, eyeing the page with something akin to
childish delight. I discovered that it was a
picture of his own hunt ball, and as a bit of
color it was marvellous, the scarlet coats being
very much in evidence.
"There, old man!" he exclaimed. "What
do you think of that ? Something of a send-
off, eh?" And he pointed to a rather stout
and important gentleman in the foreground.
"That's me!" he said proudly, "and they
wouldn't do that for Farquhar Fenelon Cooke
84 The Celebrity
"A prophet is without honor in his own
country," I remarked.
" I don't set up for a prophet," said Mr. Cooke,
" but I did predict that I would start a ripple
here, didn't I?"
I did not deny this.
" How do I stand over there ? " he inquired,
designating Asquith by a twist of the head.
"I hear they're acting all over the road; that
they think I'm the very devil."
"Well, your stock has dropped some, I
admit," I answered. "They didn't take kindly
to your getting the judge drunk, you know."
"They oughtn't to complain about that,"
said my client ; " and besides, he wasn't drunk
enough to amount to anything."
"However that may be," said I, "you have
the credit for leading him astray. But there
is a split in your favor."
" I'm glad to know that," he said, brighten
ing; "then I won't have to import any more."
"Any more what?" I asked.
" People from the East to keep things moving,
of course. What I have here and those left me
at the inn ought to be enough to run through
the summer with. Don't you think so ? "
The Celebrity 85
I thought so, and was moving off when he
called me back.
" Is the judge locked up, old man ? " he de
"He's under rather close surveillance," I
" Crocker," he said confidentially, " see if you
can't smuggle him over here some day soon.
The judge always holds good cards, and plays
a number one hand."
I promised, and escaped. On the veranda
I came upon Miss Thorn surrounded by some
of her uncle's guests. I imagine that she was
bored, for she looked it.
"Mr. Crocker," she called out, "you're just
the man I have been wishing to see."
The others naturally took this for a dismis
sal, and she was not long in coming to her
point when we were alone.
" What is it you know about this queer but
gifted genius who is here so mysteriously ?" she
" Nothing whatever," I confessed. "I knew
him before he thought of becoming a genius."
"Retrogression is always painful," she said;
"but tell me something about him then."
86 The Celebrity
I told her all I knew, being that narrated
in these pages. "Now," said I, "if you will
pardon a curiosity on my part, from what you
said the other evening I inferred that he closely
resembles the man whose name it pleased him
to assume. And that man, I learn from the
newspapers, is Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen of
the ' Miles Standish Bicycle Company.' "
Miss Thorn made a comic gesture of despair.
" Why he chose Mr. Allen's name," she said,
"is absolutely beyond my guessing. Unless
there is some purpose behind the choice, which
I do not for an instant believe, it was a foolish
thing to do, and one very apt to lead to difficul
ties. I can understand the rest. He has a
reputation for eccentricity which he feels he
must keep up, and this notion of assuming a
name evidently appealed to him as an inspira
" But why did he come out here ? " I asked.
"Can you tell me that?"
Miss Thorn flushed slightly, and ignored the
" I met the ' Celebrity,' as you call him," she
said, "for the first time last winter, and I saw
him frequently during the season. Of course
The Celebrity 87
I had heard not a little about him and his
peculiarities. His name seems to have gone
the length and breadth of the land. And, like
most girls, I had read his books and confess
I enjoyed them. It is not too much to say,"
she added archly, "that I made a sort of
archangel out of the author."
"I can understand that," said I.
"But that did not last," she continued
hastily. " I see I have got beside my story.
I saw a great deal of him in New York. He
came to call, and I believe I danced with him
once or twice. And then my aunt, Mrs. Rivers,
bought a place near Epsom, in Massachusetts,
and had a house party there in May. And the
Celebrity was invited."
"Oh, I assure you it was a mere chance,"
said Miss Thorn. " I mention this that I may
tell you the astonishing part of it all. Epsom
is one of those smoky manufacturing towns one
sees in New England, and the ' Miles Standish '
bicycle is made there. The day after we all
arrived at my aunt's a man came up the drive
on a wheel whom I greeted in a friendly way
and got a decidedly uncertain bow in retura
88 The Celebrity
I thought it rather a strange shift from a
marked cordiality, and spoke of the circum
stance to my aunt, who was highly amused.
' Why, my dear,' said she, ' that was Mr. Allen,
of the bicycle company. I was nearly deceived
" And is the resemblance so close as that ? "
" So close ! Believe me, they are as like as
two ices from a mould. Of course, when they
are together one can distinguish the Celebrity
from the bicycle man. The Celebrity's chin
is a little more square, and his nose straighter,
and there are other little differences. I believe
Mr. Allen has a slight scar on his forehead.
But the likeness was remarkable, nevertheless,
and it grew to be a standing joke with us.
They actually dressed ludicrously alike. The
Celebrity became so sensitive about it that he
went back to New York before the party broke
up. We grew to be quite fond of the bicycle
She paused and shifted her chair, which had
rocked close to mine.
"And can you account for his coming to
Asquith?" I asked innocently.
The Celebrity 89
She was plainly embarrassed.
" I suppose I might account for it, Mr.
Crocker," she replied. Then she added, with
something of an impulse, " After all, it is fool
ish of me not to tell you. You probably know
the Celebrity well enough to have learned that
he takes idiotic fancies to young women."
"Not always idiotic," I protested.
"You mean that the young women are not
always idiotic, I suppose. No, not always, but
nearly always. I imagine he got the idea of
coming to Asquith," she went on with a change
of manner, " because I chanced to mention that
I was coming out here on a visit."
"Oh," I remarked, and there words failed
Her mouth was twitching with merriment.
"I am afraid you will have to solve the rest
of it for yourself, Mr. Crocker," said she ; " that
is all of my contribution. My uncle tells me
you are the best lawyer in the country, and
I am surprised that you are so slow in getting
And I did attempt to solve it on my way
back to Asquith. The conclusion I settled to,
everything weighed, was this : that the Celeb-
90 The Celebrity
rity had become infatuated with Miss Thorn
(I was far from blaming him for that) and had
followed her first to Epsom and now to Asquith.
And he had chosen to come West incognito
partly through the conceit which he admitted
and gloried in, and partly because he believed
his prominence sufficient to obtain for him an
unpleasant notoriety if he continued long enough
to track the same young lady about the country.
Hence he had taken the trouble to advertise
a trip abroad to account for his absence. Un
doubtedly his previous conquests had been made
more easily, for my second talk with Miss Thorn
had put my mind at rest as to her having fallen
a victim to his fascinations. Her arrival at
Mohair being delayed, the Celebrity had come
nearly a month too soon, and in the interval
that tendency of which he was the dupe still
led him by the nose; he must needs make
violent love to the most attractive girl on the
ground, Miss Trevor. Now that one still
more attractive had arrived I was curious to
see how he would steer between the two, for I
made no doubt that matters had progressed
rather far with Miss Trevor. And in this I
was not mistaken.
The Celebrity 91
But his choice of the name of Charles
Wrexell Allen bothered me considerably. I
finally decided that he had taken it because
convenient, and because he believed Asquith
to be more remote from the East than the
Reaching the inn grounds, I climbed the hill
side to a favorite haunt of mine, a huge boulder
having a sloping back covered with soft turf.
Hence I could watch indifferently both lake
and sky. Presently, however, I was aroused
by voices at the foot of the rock, and peering
over the edge I discovered a kind of sewing-
circle gathered there. The foliage hid me
completely. I perceived the Celebrity perched
upon the low branch of an apple-tree, and Miss
Trevor below him, with two other girls, doing
fancy-work, I shall not attempt to defend the
morality of my action, but I could not get away
without discovery, and the knowledge that I
had heard a part of their conversation might
prove disquieting to them.
The Celebrity had just published a book,
under the title of The Sybarites, which was be
ing everywhere discussed ; and Asquith, where
summer reading was general, came in for its
92 77/i? Celebrity
share of the debate. Why it was called The
Sybarites I have never discovered. I did not
read the book because I was sick and tired of
the author and his nonsense, but I imbibed, in
spite of myself, something of the story and its
moral from hearing it talked about. The Celeb
rity himself had listened to arguments on the
subject with great serenity, and was nothing
loth to give his opinion when appealed to. I
realized at once that The Sybarites was the
"Yes, it is rather an uncommon book," he
was saying languidly, "but there is no use
writing a story unless it is uncommon."
" Dear, how I should like to meet the author! "
exclaimed a voice. "He must be a charming
man, and so young, too ! I believe you said
you knew him, Mr. Allen."
" An old acquaintance," he answered, " and I
am always reminding him that his work is over
" How can you say he is overestimated ! "
said a voice.
"You men are all jealous of him," said
"Is he handsome? I have heard he is."
The Celebrity 93
"He would scarcely be called so," said the
"He is, girls," Miss Trevor interposed ; "I
have seen his photograph."
"What does he look like, Irene?" they cho-
russed, "Men are no judges."
" He is tall, and dark, and broad-shouldered,"
Miss Trevor enumerated, as though counting
her stitches, " and he has a very firm chin, and
a straight nose, and "
"Perfect!" they cried. "I had an idea he
was just like that. I should go wild about him.
Does he talk as well as he writes, Mr. Allen ? "
"That is admitting that he writes well."
" Admitting ? " they shouted scornfully, " and
don't you admit it ? "
" Some people like his writing, I have to con-
fess," said the Celebrity, with becoming calm
ness ; " certainly his personality could not sell
an edition of thirty thousand in a month. I
think The Sybarites the best of his works."
"Upon my word, Mr. Allen, I am disgusted
with you," said the second voice ; " I have not
found a man yet who would speak a good word
for him. But I did not think it of you."
A woman's tongue, like a firearm, is a danger-
94 The Celebrity
ous weapon, and often strikes where it is least
expected. I saw with a wicked delight that the
shot had told, for the Celebrity blushed to the
roots of his hair, while Miss Trevor dropped
three or four stitches.
" I do not see how you can expect men to like
The Sybarites" she said, with some heat ; " very
few men realize or care to realize what a small
chance the average woman has. I know mar
riage isn't a necessary goal, but most women, as
well as most men, look forward to it at some
time of life, and, as a rule, a woman is forced to
take her choice of the two or three men that
offer themselves, no matter what they are. I
admire a man who takes up the cudgels for
women, as he has done."
"Of course we admire him," they cried, as
soon as Miss Trevor had stopped for breath.
" And can you expect a man to like a book
which admits that women are the more con
stant ? " she went on.
" Why, Irene, you are quite rabid on the sub
ject," said the second voice ; " I did not say I
expected it. I only said I had hoped to find
Mr. Allen, at least, broad enough to agree with
The Celebrity 95
"Doesn't Mr. Allen remind you a little of
Desmond?" asked the first voice, evidently
anxious to avoid trouble.
" Do you know whom he took for Desmond,
Mr. Allen ? I have an idea it was himself."
Mr. Allen had now recovered some of his
" If so, it was done unconsciously," he said.
" I suppose an author must put his best thoughts
in the mouth of his hero."
" But it is like him ? " she insisted.
"Yes, he holds the same views."
"Which you do not agree with."
" I have not said I did not agree with them,"
he replied, taking up his own defence ; " the
point is not that men are more inconstant than
women, but that women have more excuse for
inconstancy. If I remember correctly, Des
mond, in a letter to Rosamond, says : ' Incon
stancy in a woman, because of the present
social conditions, is often pardonable. In a
man, nothing is more despicable.' I think that
is so. I believe that a man should stick by the
woman to whom he has given his word as
closely as he sticks by his friends."
"Ah!" exclaimed the aggressive second
96 The Celebrity
voice, "that is all very well. But how about
the woman to whom he has not given his
word? Unfortunately, the present social con
ditions allow a man to go pretty far without a
At this I could not refrain from looking at
Miss Trevor. She was bending over her knit
ting and had broken her thread.
" It is presumption for a man to speak with
out some foundation," said the Celebrity, "and
wrong unless he is sure of himself."
" But you must admit," the second voice con
tinued, " that a man has no right to amuse him
self with a woman, and give her every reason to
believe he is going to marry her save the only
manly and substantial one. And yet that is
something which happens every day. What
do you think of a man who deserts a woman
under those conditions ? "
"He is a detestable dog, of course," declared
And the cock in the inn yard was silent.
"I should love to be able to quote from a
book at will," said the quieting voice, for the
sake of putting an end to an argument which
bid fair to become disagreeable. " How do you
manage to do it ? "
The Celebrity 97
"It was simply a passage that stuck in my
mind," he answered modestly ; " when I read
a book I pick them up just as a roller picks up
a sod here and there as it moves over the lawn."
" I should think you might write, Mr. Allen,
you have such an original way of putting
"I have thought of it," returned the Celeb
rity, " and I may, some fine day."
Wherewith he thrust his hands into his
pockets and sauntered off with equanimity un
disturbed, apparently unaware of the impression
he had left behind him. And the Fifth Reader
story popped into my head of good King Wil
liam (or King Frederick, I forgot which), who
had a royal fancy for laying aside the gayeties
of the court and straying incognito among his
plainer subjects, but whose princely origin was
invariably detected in spite of any disguise his
Majesty could invent.
I EXPERIENCED a great surprise a few morn-
ings afterwards. I had risen quite early, and
found the Celebrity's man superintending the
hoisting of luggage on top of a van.
" Is your master leaving ? " I asked.
" He's off to Mohair now, sir," said the valet,
with a salute.
At that instant the Celebrity himself ap
"Yes, old chap, I'm off to Mohair," he ex
plained. "There's more sport in a day up there
than you get here in a season. Beastly slow
place, this, unless one is a deacon or a doctor
of divinity. Why don't you come up, Crocker ?
Cooke would like nothing better; he has told
me so a dozen times."
"He is very good," I replied. I could not
resist the temptation to add, "I had an idea
Asquith rather suited your purposes just now."
"I don't quite understand," he said, jumping
at the other half of my meaning.
The Celebrity 99
"Oh, nothing. But you told me when you
came here, if I am not mistaken, that you
chose Asquith because of those very qualities
for which you now condemn it."
" Magna est vis consuetudinis" he laughed ;
"I thought I could stand the life, but I can't.
I am tired of their sects and synods and ser
mons. By the way," said he pulling at my
sleeve, "what a deuced pretty girl that Miss
Thorn is ! Isn't she ? Rollins, where's the
cart ? Well, good-bye, Crocker ; see you soon."
He drove rapidly off as the clock struck six,
and an uneasy glance he gave the upper win
dows did not escape me. When Farrar ap
peared, I told him what had happened.
" Good riddance," he replied sententiously.
We sat in silence until the bell rang, looking
at the morning sun on the lake. I was a little
anxious to learn the state of Farrar's feelings in
regard to Miss Trevor, and how this new twist
in affairs had affected them. But I might as
well have expected one of King Louis's carp to
whisper secrets of the old regime. The young
lady came to the breakfast-table looking so
fresh and in such high spirits that I made sure
she had not heard of the Celebrity's ignoble
ioo The Celebrity
escape. As the meal proceeded it was easy to
mark that her eye now and again fell across his
empty chair, and glanced inquiringly towards
the door. I made up my mind that I would
not be the bearer of evil news, and so did Far-
rar, so we kept up a vapid small-talk with Mr.
Trevor on the condition of trade in the West.
Miss Trevor, however, in some way came to
suspect that we could account for that vacant
seat. At last she fixed her eye inquiringly on
me, and I trembled.
" Mr. Crocker," she began, and paused. Then
she added with a fair unconcern, " do you hap
pen to know where Mr. Allen is this morning ? "
"He has gone over to Mohair, I believe," I
" To Mohair ! " she exclaimed, putting down
her cup ; " why, he promised to go canoeing at
" Probably he will be back by then," I ven
tured, not finding it in my heart to tell her the
cruel truth. But I kept my eyes on my plate.
They say a lie has short legs. Mine had, for
my black friend, Simpson, was at that instant
taking off the fruit, and overheard my remark.
"Mr. Allen done gone for good," he put in,
The Celebrity 101
"done give me five dollars last night. Why,
sah," he added, scratching his head, "you was
on de poch dis mornin' when his trunks was
took away ! "
It was certainly no time to quibble then.
" His trunks ! " Miss Trevor exclaimed.
" Yes, he has left us and gone to Mohair," I
said, " bag and baggage. That is the flat truth
I suppose there is some general rule for cal
culating beforehand how a young woman is
going to act when news of this sort is broken.
I had no notion of what Miss Trevor would do.
I believe Farrar thought she would faint, for he
laid his napkin on the table. She did nothing
of the kind, but said simply :
" How unreliable men are ! "
I fell to guessing what her feelings were ; for
the life of me I could not tell from her face. I
was sorry for Miss Trevor in spite of the fact
that she had neglected to ask my advice before'
falling in love with the Celebrity. I asked her
to go canoeing with me. She refused kindly
but very firmly.
It is needless to say that the Celebrity did
not come back to the inn, and as far as I could
IO2 The Celebrity
see the desertion was designed, cold-blooded.,
and complete. Miss Trevor remained out of
sight during the day of his departure, and at
dinner we noticed traces of a storm about her,
a storm which had come and gone. There
was an involuntary hush as she entered the
dining-room, for Asquith had been buzzing that
afternoon over the episode. And I admired
the manner in which she bore her inspection.
Already rumors of the cause of Mr. Allen's de
parture were in active circulation, and I was
astonished to learn that he had been seen that
day seated upon Indian rock with Miss Thorn
herself. This piece of news gave me a feeling
of insecurity about people, and about women in
particular, that I had never before experienced.
After holding the Celebrity up to such unmeas
ured ridicule as she had done, ridicule not with
out a seasoning of contempt, it was difficult to
believe Miss Thorn so inconsistent as to go
alone with him to Indian rock; and she was
not ignorant of Miss Trevor's experience. But
the fact was attested by trustworthy persons.
I have often wondered what prompted me to
ask Miss Trevor again to go canoeing. To do
myself justice, it was no wish of mine to meddle
The Celebrity 103
with or pry into her affairs. Neither did I
flatter myself that my poor company would be
any consolation for that she had lost. I shall
not try to analyze my motive. Suffice it to
record that she accepted this second invitation,
and I did my best to amuse her by relating a
few of my experiences at the bar, and I told
that memorable story of Farrar throwing
O'Meara into the street. We were getting
along famously, when we descried another
canoe passing us at some distance, and we both
recognized the Celebrity at the paddle by the
flannel jacket of his college boat club. And
Miss Thorn sat in the bow !
"Do you know anything about that man,
Miss Trevor?" I asked abruptly.
She grew scarlet, but replied :
" I know that he is a fraud."
" Anything else ? "
" I can't say that I do ; that is, nothing but
what he has told me."
"If you will forgive my curiosity," I said,
" what has he told you ? "
"He says he is the author of The Syba>
rites" she answered, her lip curling, "but of
course I do not believe, that, now."
IO4 The Celebrity
"But that happens to be true," I said, smil-
She clapped her hands.
"I promised him I wouldn't tell," she cried,
"but the minute I get back to the inn I shall
" No, don't do that just yet," said I.
" Why not ? Of course I shall."
I had no definite reason, only a vague hope
that we should get some better sort of enjoy
ment out of the disclosure before the summer
" You see," I said, " he is always getting into
scrapes ; he is that kind of a man. And it is
my humble opinion that he has put his head
into a noose this time, for sure. Mr. Allen, of
the 'Miles Standish Bicycle Company,' whose
name he has borrowed for the occasion, is
enough like him in appearance to be his twin
" He has borrowed another man's name ! " she
exclaimed ; " why, that's stealing ! "
" No, merely kleptomania," I replied ; " he
wouldn't be the other man if he could. But it
has struck me that the real Mr. Allen might
turn up here, or some friend of his, and stir
The Celebrity 105
things a bit My advice to you is to keep quiet,
and we may have a comedy worth seeing."
" Well," she remarked, after she had got over
a little of her astonishment, " it would be great
fun to tell, but I won't if you say so."
: I came to have a real liking for Miss Trevor,
i^arrar used to smile when I spoke of this, and
I never could induce him to go out with us in
the canoe, which we did frequently, in fact,
every day I was at Asquith, except of course
Sundays. And we grew to understand each
other very well. She looked upon me in the
same light as did my other friends, that of a
counsellor-at-law, and I fell unconsciously into
the r61e of her adviser, in which capacity I was
the recipient of many confidences I would have
got in no other way. That is, in no other way
save one, and in that I had no desire to go,
even had it been possible. Miss Trevor was only
nineteen, and in her eyes I was at least sixty.
"See here, Miss Trevor," I said to her one
day after we had become more or less intimate,
"of course it's none of my business, but you
didn't feel very badly after the Celebrity went
away, did you ? "
Her reply was frank and rather staggering.
106 The Celebrity
"Yes, I did. I was engaged to him, you
" Engaged to him ! I had no idea he ever
got that far," I exclaimed.
Miss Trevor laughed merrily.
" It was my fault," she said ; " I pinned him
down, and he had to propose. There was no
way out of it. I don't mind telling you."
I did not know whether to be flattered or
aggrieved by this avowal.
"You know," she went on, her tone half
apologetic, " the day after he came he told me
who he was, and I wanted to stop the people
we passed and inform them of the lion I was
walking with. And I was quite carried away
by the honor of his attentions : any girl would
have been, you know."
" I suppose so," I assented.
"And I had heard and read so much of him,
and I doted on his stories, and all that. His
heroes are divine, you must admit. And, Mr.
Crocker," she concluded with a charming
naYvety, "I just made up my mind I would
"Woman proposes, and man disposes," I
laughed. "He escaped in spite of you."
The Celebrity 107
She looked at me queerly.
"Only a jest," I said hurriedly; "your escape
is the one to be thankful for. You might have
married him, like the young woman in The
Sybarites. You remember, do you not, that
the hero of that book sacrifices himself for the
lady who adores him, but whom he has ceased
to adore ? "
" Yes, I remember," she laughed ; " I believe
I know that book by heart."
"Think of the countless girls he must have
relieved of their affections before their eyes
were opened," I continued with mock gravity.
"Think of the charred trail he has left behind
him. A man of that sort ought to be put under
heavy bonds not to break any more hearts.
But a kleptomaniac isn't responsible, you under
stand. And it isn't worth while to bear any
" Oh, I don't bear any malice now," she said.
" I did at first, naturally. But it all seems very
ridiculous now I have had time to think it over.
I believe, Mr. Crocker, that I never really cared
"Simply an idol shattered this time," I sug
gested, " and not a heart broken."
108 The Celebrity
"Yes, that's it," said she.
" I am glad to hear it," said I, much pleased
that she had taken such a sensible view. " But
you are engaged to him."
"You have broken the engagement, then?"
" No, I haven't," she said.
" Then he has broken it ? "
She did not appear to resent this catechism.
"That's the strange part of it," said Miss
Trevor, " he hasn't even thought it necessary."
"It is clear, then, that you are still engaged
to him," said I, smiling at her blank face.
" I suppose I am," she cried. " Isn't it awful ?
What shall I do, Mr. Crocker? You are so
sensible, and have had so much experience."
"I beg your pardon," I remarked grimly.
" Oh, you know what I mean : not that kind
of experience, of course. But breach of promise
cases and that sort of thing. I have a photo
graph of him with something written over it."
" Something compromising ? " I inquired.
"Yes, you would probably call it so/' she
answered, reddening. "But there is no need
of my repeating it. And then I have a lot of
other things. If I write to break off the en-
The Celebrity 109
gagement I shall lose dignity, and it will appear
as though I had regrets. I don't wish him to
think that, of all things. What shall I do ? "
" Do nothing," I said.
" What do you mean ? "
"Just that. Do not break the engagement,
and keep the photograph and other articles for
evidence. If he makes any overtures, don't
consider them for an instant. And I think,
Miss Trevor, you will succeed sooner or later
in making him very uncomfortable. Were he
any one else I shouldn't advise such a course,
but you won't lose any dignity and self-respect
by it, as no one will be likely to hear of it.
He can't be taken seriously, and plainly he has
never taken any one else so. He hasn't even
gone to the trouble to notify you that he does
not intend marrying you."
I saw from her expression that my suggestion
was favorably entertained.
"What a joke it would be!" she cried de
"And a decided act of charity," I added, "to
the next young woman on his list."
THE humor of my proposition appealed more
strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for,
and from that time forward she became her
old self again ; for, even after she had conquered
her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of
having been jilted by him remained. Now she
had come to look upon the matter in its true
proportions, and her anticipation of a possible
chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure
to behold. Our table in the dining-room be
came again the abode of scintillating wit and
caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old
standard, and the demand for seats in the
vicinity rose to an animated competition. Mr.
Charles Wrexell Allen's chair was finally awarded
to a nephew of Judge Short, who could turn a
story to perfection.
So life at the inn settled down again to what
it had been before the Celebrity came to dis
I had my own reasons for staying away from
Mohair. More than once as I drove over to
The Celebrity in
the county-seat in my buggy I had met the
Celebrity on a tall tandem cart, with one of
Mr. Cooke's high-steppers in the lead, and Miss
Thorn in the low seat. I had forgotten to
mention that my friend was something of a
whip. At such times I would bow very civilly
and pass on ; not without a twinge, I confess.
And as the result of one of these meetings I
had to retrace several miles of my road for a
brief I had forgotten. After that I took another
road, several miles longer, for the sight of Miss
Thorn with him seriously disturbed my peace
But at length the day came, as I had feared,
when circumstances forced me to go to my
client's place. One morning Miss Trevor and
I were about stepping into the canoe for our
customary excursion when one of Mr. Cooke's
footmen arrived with a note for each of us.
They were from Mrs. Cooke, and requested
the pleasure of our company that day for
" If you were I, would you go ? " Miss Trevor
"Of course," I replied.
" But the consequences may be unpleasant."
112 The Celebrity
"Don't let them," I said. "Of what use is
tact to a woman if not for just such occasions ? "
My invitation had this characteristic note
tacked on the end of it:
" DEAR CROCKER : Where are you ? Where
is the judge ? F. F. C."
I corralled the judge, and we started off across
the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that
gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom
relaxed. And thus we came by a circuitous
route to Mohair, the judge occupied by his own
guilty thoughts, and I by others not less dis
turbing. My client welcomed the judge with
that warmth of manner which grappled so many
of his friends to his heart, and they disappeared
together into the Ethiopian card-room, which
was filled with the assegais and exclamation-
point shields Mr. Cooke had had made at the
Sawmill at Beaverton.
I learned from one of the lords-in-waiting
loafing about the hall that Mrs. Cooke was out
on the golf links, chaperoning some of the
Asquith young women whose mothers had not
seen fit to ostracize Mohair. Mr. Cooke's ten
friends were with them. But this discreet and
The Celebrity 113
dignified servant could not reveal the where
abouts of Miss Thorn and of Mr. Allen, both
of whom I was decidedly anxious to avoid. I
was much disgusted, therefore, to come upon
the Celebrity in the smoking-room, writing
rapidly, with sheets of manuscript piled beside
him. And he was quite good-natured over my
"No," said he, "don't go. It's only a short
story I promised for a Christmas number. They
offered me fifteen cents a word and promised to
put my name on the cover in red, so I couldn't
very well refuse. It's no inspiration, though, I
tell you that." He rose and pressed a bell
behind him and ordered whiskeys and ginger
ales, as if he were in a hotel. "Sit down,
Crocker," he said, waving me to a morocco
chair. "Why don't you come over to see us
" I've been quite busy," I said.
This remark seemed to please him immensely.
"What a sly old chap you are," said he;
" really, I shall have to go back to the inn and
"What the deuce do you mean?" I de
114 The Celebrity
He looked me over in well-bred astonishment
and replied :
" Hang me, Crocker, if I can make you out.
You seem to know the world pretty well, and
yet when a fellow twits you on a little flirtation
you act as though you were going to black his
" A little flirtation ! " I repeated, aghast.
"Oh, well," he said, smiling, " we won't quar
rel over a definition. Call it anything you
" Don't you think this a little uncalled for ? "
I asked, beginning to lose my temper.
" Bless you, no. Not among friends : not
among such friends as we are."
"I didn't know we were such devilish good
friends," I retorted warmly.
"Oh, yes, we are, devilish good friends," he
answered with assurance ; " known each other
from boyhood, and all that. And I say, old
chap," he added, "you needn't be jealous of me,
you know. I got out of that long ago. And
I'm after something else now."
For a space I was speechless. Then the
ludicrous side of the matter struck me, and I
laughed in spite of myself. Better, after all, to
The Celebrity 115
deal with a fool according to his folly. The
Celebrity glanced at the door and drew his chair
closer to mine.
" Crocker," he said confidentially, " I'm glad
you came here to-day. There is a thing or two
I wished to consult you about."
" Professional ? " I asked, trying to head him
"No," he replied, "amateur, beastly ama
teur. A bungle, if I ever made one. The truth
is, I executed rather a faux pas over there at
Asquith. Tell me," said he, diving desperately
at the root of it, "how does Miss Trevor feel
about my getting out ? I meant to let her down
easier; 'pon my word, I did."
This is a way rascals have of judging other
men by themselves.
"Well," said I, "it was rather a blow, of
" Of course," he assented.
" And all the more unexpected," I went on,
"from a man who has written reams on con
I flatter myself that this nearly struck home,
for he was plainly annoyed.
"Oh, bother that!" said he. "How many
Ii6 The Celebrity
gowns believe in their own sermons ? How
many lawyers believe in their own arguments?"
"Unhappily, not as many as might."
" I don't object to telling you, old chap," he
continued, "that I went in a little deeper than
I intended. A good deal deeper, in fact. Miss
Trevor is a deuced fine girl, and all that ; but
absolutely impossible. I forgot myself, and I
confess I was pretty close to caught."
" I congratulate you," I said gravely.
"That's the point of it. I don't know that
I'm out of the woods yet. I wanted to see you
and find out how she was acting."
My first impulse was to keep him in hot
water. Fortunately I thought twice.
" I don't know anything about Miss Trevor's
feelings " I began.
" Naturally not " he interrupted, with a smile.
" But I have a notion that, if she ever fancied
you, she doesn't care a straw for you to-day."
"Doesn't she now," he replied somewhat
regretfully. Here was one of the knots in his
character I never could untie.
"Understand, that is simply my guess," I
said. "You must have discovered that it is
never possible to be sure of a woman's feelings."
The Celebrity 117
"Found that out long ago," he replied with
conviction, and added : " Then you think I need
not anticipate any trouble from her ? "
" I have told you what I think," I answered ;
"you know better than I what the situation
He still lingered.
" Does she appear to be in, ah, in good
spirits ? "
I had work to keep my face straight.
" Capital," I said ; " I never saw her happier."
This seemed to satisfy him.
" Downcast at first, happy now," he remarked
thoughtfully. " Yes, she got over it. I'm much
obliged to you, Crocker."
I left him to finish his short story and walked
out across the circle of smooth lawn towards the
golf links. And there I met Mrs. Cooke and
her niece coming in together. The warm red
of her costume became Miss Thorn wonderfully,
and set off the glossy black of her hair. And
her skin was glowing from the exercise. An
involuntary feeling of admiration for this tall,
athletic young woman swept over me, and I
halted in my steps for no other reason, I believe,
than that I might look upon her the longer.
n8 The Celebrity
What man, I thought resentfully, would not
travel a thousand miles to be near her?
" It is Mr. Crocker," said Mrs. Cooke ; " I had
given up all hope of ever seeing you again.
Why have you been such a stranger?"
"As if you didn't know, Aunt Maria," Miss
Thorn put in gayly.
" Oh yes, I know," returned her aunt,
"and I have not been foolish enough to in
vite the bar without the magnet. And yet,
Mr. Crocker," she went on playfully, " I had
imagined that you were the one man in a hun
dred who did not need an inducement."
Miss Thorn began digging up the turf with
her lofter : it was a painful moment for me.
"You might at least have tried me, Mrs.
Cooke," I said.
Miss Thorn looked up quickly from the
ground, her eyes searchingly upon my face.
And Mrs. Cooke seemed surprised.
"We are glad you came, at any rate," she
And at luncheon my seat was next to Miss
Thorn's, while the Celebrity was placed at the
right of Miss Trevor. I observed that his face
went blank from time to time at some quip of
The Celebrity 119
hers : even a dull woman may be sharp under
such circumstances, and Miss Trevor had wits
to spare. And I marked that she never allowed
her talk with him to drift into deep water ; when
there was danger of this she would draw the
entire table into their conversation by some
adroit remark, or create a laugh at his expense.
As for me, I held a discreet if uncomfortable
silence, save for the few words which passed
between Miss Thorn and me. Once or twice
I caught her covert glance on me. But I felt,
and strongly, that there could be no friendship
between us now, and I did not care to dissimu
late merely for the sake of appearances. Be
sides, I was not a little put out over the senseless
piece of gossip which had gone abroad concern
It had been arranged as part of the day's
programme that Mr. Cooke was to drive those
who wished to go over the Rise in his new
brake. But the table was not graced by our
host's presence, Mrs. Cooke apologizing for
him, explaining that he had disappeared quite
mysteriously. It turned out that he and the
judge had been served with luncheon in the
Ethiopian card-room, and neither threats nor
I2O The Celebrity
fair words could draw him away. The judge
had not held such cards for years, and it was in
vain that I talked to him of consequences. The
Ten decided to remain and watch a game which
was pronounced little short of phenomenal, and
my client gave orders for the smaller brake and
requested the Celebrity to drive. And this he
was nothing loth to do. For the edification as
well as the assurance of the party Mr. Allen ex
plained, while we were waiting under the port
cochtre, how he had driven the Windsor coach
down Piccadilly at the height of the season, with
a certain member of Parliament and noted whip
on the box seat.
And, to do him justice, he could drive. He
won the instant respect of Mr. Cooke's coach
man by his manner of taking up the lines, and
clinched it when he dropped a careless remark
concerning the off wheeler. And after the
critical inspection of the horses which is proper
he climbed up on the box. There was much
hesitation among the ladies as to who should
take the seat of honor : Mrs. Cooke declining, it
was pressed upon Miss Thorn. But she, some
what to my surprise, declined also, and it was
finally filled by a young woman from Asquith.
The Celebrity 121
As we drove off I found myself alone with Mrs.
Cooke's niece on the seat behind.
The day was cool and snappy for August, and
the Rise all green with a lavish nature. Now
we plunged into a deep shade with the boughs
Jacing each other overhead, and crossed dainty,
rustic bridges over the cold trout-streams, the
boards giving back the clatter of our horses'
feet : or anon we shot into a clearing, with a
colored glimpse of the lake and its curving shore
far below us. I had always loved that piece of
country since the first look I had of it from the
Asquith road, and the sight of it rarely failed to
set my blood a-tingle with pleasure. But to-day
I scarcely saw it. I wondered what whim had
impelled Miss Thorn to get into this seat. She
paid but little attention to me during the first
part of the drive, though a mere look in my di
rection seemed to afford her amusement. And
at last, half way up the Rise, where the road
takes to an embankment, I got a decided jar.
" Mr. Allen," she cried to the Celebrity, "you
must stop here. Do you remember how long
we tarried over this bit on Friday?"
He tightened the lines and threw a meaning
122 The Celebrity
I was tempted to say :
" You and Mr. Allen should know these roads
rather well, Miss Thorn."
" Every inch of them," she replied.
We must have gone a mile farther when she
turned upon me.
"It is your duty to be entertaining, Mr.
Crocker. What in the world are you thinking
of, with your brow all puckered up, forbidding as
an owl ? "
" I was thinking how some people change,"
I answered, with a readiness which surprised
" Strange," she said, " I had the same thing
in mind. I hear decidedly queer tales of you ;
canoeing every day that business does not pre
vent, and whole evenings spent at the dark end
of a veranda."
" What rubbish ! " I exclaimed, not knowing
whether to be angered or amused.
"Come, sir," she said, with mock sternness,
" answer the charge. Guilty or not guilty ? "
" First let me make a counter-charge," said I ;
"you have given me the right. Not long ago a
certain young lady came to Mohair and found
there a young author of note with whom she
The Celebrity 123
had had some previous acquaintance. She did
not hesitate to intimate her views on the char
acter of this Celebrity, and her views were not
I paused. There was some satisfaction in
seeing Miss Thorn biting her lip.
"Not at all favorable, mind you," I went on.
" And the young lady's general appearance was
such as to lead one to suppose her the sincerest
of persons. Now I am at a loss to account for
a discrepancy between her words and her
While I talked Miss Thorn's face had been
gradually turning from mine until now I saw
only the dainty knot at the back of her head.
Her shoulders were quivering with laughter.
But presently her face came back all gravity,
save a suspicious gleam of mirth in the eyes.
"It does seem inconsistent, Mr. Crocker; I
grant you that. No doubt it is so. But let me
ask you something : did you ever yet know a
woman who was not inconsistent ? "
I did not realize I had been side-tracked until
I came to think over this conversation after*
124 The Celebrity
"I am not sure," I replied. "Perhaps I
merely hoped that one such existed."
She dropped her eyes.
" Then don't be surprised at my failing," said
she. "No doubt I criticised the Celebrity
severely. I cannot recall what I said. But it
is upon the better side of a character that we
must learn to look. Did it ever strike you that
the Celebrity had some exceedingly fine quali
" No, it did not," I answered positively.
"Nevertheless, he has," she went on, in all
apparent seriousness. "He drives almost as
well as Uncle Farquhar, dances well, and is a
" You were speaking of qualities, not accom
plishments," I said. A horrible suspicion that
she was having a little fun at my expense crossed
"Very good, then. You must admit that he
is generous to a fault, amiable ; and persevering,
else he would never have attained the position
he enjoys. And his affection for you, Mr.
Crocker, is really touching, considering how
little he gets in return."
"Come, Miss Thorn," I said severely, "thii
The Celebrity 125
is ridiculous. I don't like him, and never shall.
I liked him once, before he took to writing
drivel. But he must have been made over
since then. And what is more, with all re
spect to your opinion, I don't believe he likes
Miss Thorn straightened up with dignity and
"You do him an injustice. But perhaps you
will learn to appreciate him before he leaves
"That is not likely," I replied not at all
pleasantly, I fear. And again I thought I ob
served in her the same desire to laugh she had
And all the way back her talk was of nothing
except the Celebrity. I tried every method
short of absolute rudeness to change the sub
ject, and went from silence to taciturnity and
back again to silence. She discussed his books
and his mannerisms, even the growth of his
popularity. She repeated anecdotes of him from
Naples to St. Petersburg, from Tokio to Cape
Town. And when we finally stopped under the
port cochere I had scarcely the civility left to say
126 The Celebrity
I held out my hand to help her to the ground,
but she paused on the second step.
"Mr. Crocker," she observed archly, "I be
lieve you once told me you had not known many
girls in your life."
"True," I said; "why do you ask?"
" I wished to be sure of it," she replied.
And jumping down without my assistance,
she laughed and disappeared into the house.
THAT evening I lighted a cigar and went
down to sit on the outermost pile of the
Asquith dock to commune with myself. To
say that I was disappointed in Miss Thorn
would be to set a mild value on my feelings.
I was angry, even aggressive, over her defence
of the Celebrity. I had gone over to Mohair
that day with a hope that some good reason
was at the bottom of her tolerance for him, and
had come back without any hope. She not only
tolerated him, but, wonderful to be said, plainly
liked him. Had she not praised him, and de
fended him, and become indignant when I spoke
my mind about him ? And I would have taken
my oath, two weeks before, that nothing short
of hypnotic influence could have changed her.
By her own confession she had come to Asquith
with her eyes opened, and, what was more, seen
another girl wrecked on the same reef.
Farrar followed me out presently, and I had
an impulse to submit the problem as it stood
to him. But it was a long story, and I did
128 The Celebrity
not believe that if he were in my boots he
would have consulted me. Again, I sometimes
thought Farrar yearned for confidences, though
it was impossible for him to confide. And he
wore an inviting air to-night. Then, as every
body knows, there is that about twilight and an
after-dinner cigar which leads to communica
tion. They are excellent solvents. My friend
seated himself on the pile next to mine, and
" It strikes me you have been behaving rather
queer lately, Crocker."
This was clearly an invitation from Farrar,
and I melted.
"I admit," said I, "that I am a good deal
perplexed over the contradictions of the human
" Oh, is that all ? " he replied dryly. " I sup
posed it was worse. Narrower, I mean. Didn't
know you ever bothered yourself with abstract
"See here, Farrar," said I, "what is your
opinion of Miss Thorn ? "
He stopped kicking his feet against the pile
and looked up.
The Celebrity 129
"Yes, Miss Thorn," I repeated with empha
sis. I knew he had in mind that abominable
twaddle about the canoe excursions.
" Why, to tell the truth," said he, " I never
had any opinion of Miss Thorn."
"You mean you never formed any, I sup-
pose," I returned with some tartness.
"Yes, that is it. How darned precise you
are getting, Crocker! One would think you
were going to write a rhetoric. What put
Miss Thorn into your head?"
" I have been coaching beside her this after
" Oh ! " said Farrar.
"Do you remember the night she came,"
I asked, "and we sat with her on the Flor
entine porch, and Charles Wrexell recognized
her and came up ? "
"Yes," he replied with awakened interest,
"and I meant to ask you about that."
" Miss Thorn had met him in the East. And
I gathered from what she told me that he has
followed her out here."
" Shouldn't wonder," said Farrar. " Don't
much blame him, do you? Is that what
troubles you ? " he asked, in surprise.
130 The Celebrity
"Not precisely," I answered vaguely; "but
from what she has said then and since, she
made it pretty clear that she hadn't any use
for him ; saw through him, you know."
"Pity her if she didn't. But what did she
I repeated the conversations I had had with
Miss Thorn, without revealing Mr. Allen's iden
tity with the celebrated author.
"That is rather severe," he assented.
"He decamped for Mohair, as you know,
and since that time she has gone back on
every word of it. She is with him morning
and evening, and, to crown all, stood up for
him through thick and thin to-day, and praised
him. What do you think of that?"
" What I should have expected in a woman,"
said he, nonchalantly.
"They aren't all alike," I retorted.
He shook out his pipe, and getting down
from his high seat laid his hand on my knee.
" I thought so once, old fellow," he whis
pered, and went off down the dock.
This was the nearest Farrar ever came to
I have now to chronicle a curious friendship
The Celebrity 131
which had its beginning at this time. The
friendships of the other sex are quickly made,
and sometimes as quickly dissolved. This one
interested me more than I care to own. The
next morning Judge Short, looking somewhat
dejected after the overnight conference he had
had with his wife, was innocently and somewhat
ostentatiously engaged in tossing quoits with
me in front of the inn, when Miss Thorn drove
up in a basket cart. She gave me a bow which
proved that she bore no ill-will for that which
I had said about her hero. Then Miss Trevor
appeared, and away they went together. This
was the commencement. Soon the acquaintance
became an intimacy, and their lives a series of
visits to each other. Although this new state
of affairs did not seem to decrease the number
of Miss Thorn's tete-a-tetes with the Celebrity,
it put a stop to the canoe expeditions I had
been in the habit of taking with Miss Trevor,
which I thought just as well under the circum
stances. More than once Miss Thorn partook
of the inn fare at our table, and when this hap
pened I would make my escape before the coffee.
For such was the nature of my feelings regard
ing the Celebrity that I could not bring myself
132 The Celebrity
into cordial relations with one who professed
to admire him. I realize how ridiculous such
a sentiment must appear, but it existed never
theless, and most strongly.
I tried hard to throw Miss Thorn out of my
thoughts, and very nearly succeeded. I took
to spending more and more of my time at the
county-seat, where I remained for days at a
stretch, inventing business when there was
none. And in the meanwhile I lost all re
spect for myself as a sensible man, and cursed
the day the Celebrity came into the state. It
seemed strange that this acquaintance of my
early days should have come back into my life,
transformed, to make it more or less miserable.
The county-seat being several miles inland,
and lying in the midst of hills, could get intol
erably hot in September. At last I was driven
out in spite of myself, and I arrived at Asquith
cross and dusty. As Simpson was brushing me
off, Miss Trevor came up the path looking cool
and pretty in a summer gown, and her face
expressed sympathy. I have never denied that
sympathy was a good thing.
" Oh, Mr. Crocker," she cried, " I am so glad
you are back again ! We have missed you
The Celebrity 133
dreadfully. And you look tired, poor man,
quite worn out. It is a shame you have to
go over to that hot place to work."
I agreed with her.
" And I never have any one to take me canoe
ing any more."
"Let's go now," I suggested, "before dinner."
So we went. It was a keen pleasure to be
on the lake again after the sultry court-rooms
and offices, and the wind and exercise quickly
brought back my appetite and spirits. I pad
dled hither and thither, stopping now and then
to lie under the pines at the mouth of some
stream, while Miss Trevor talked. She was
almost a child in her eagerness to amuse me
with the happenings since my departure. This
was always her manner with me, in curious
contrast to her habit of fencing and playing
with words when in company. Presently she
burst out :
"Mr. Crocker, why is it that you avoid Miss
Thorn ? I was talking of you to her only
to-day, and she says you go miles out of your
way to get out of speaking to her; that you
seemed to like her quite well at first. She
couldn't understand the change."
134 The Celebrity
" Did she say that ? " I exclaimed.
" Indeed, she did ; and I have noticed it, too.
I saw you leave before coffee more than once
when she was here. I don't believe you know
what a fine girl she is."
"Why, then, does she accept and return the
attentions of the Celebrity ? " I inquired, with
a touch of acidity. " She knows what he is as
well, if not better, than you or I. I own I can't
understand it," I said, the subject getting ahead
of me. " I believe she is in love with him."
Miss Trevor began to laugh ; quietly at first,
and, as her merriment increased, heartily.
" Shouldn't we be getting back ? " I asked,
looking at my watch. "It lacks but half an
hour of dinner."
"Please don't be angry, Mr. Crocker," she
pleaded. "I really couldn't help laughing."
" I was unaware I had said anything funny,
Miss Trevor," I replied.
"Of course you didn't," she said more so
berly ; " that is, you didn't intend to. But the
very notion of Miss Thorn in love with the
Celebrity is funny."
"Evidence is stronger than argument," said
"And now she has even convicted herself."
The Celebrity 135
I started to paddle homeward, rather furi
ously, and my companion said nothing until
we came in sight of the inn. As the canoe
glided into the smooth surface behind the
breakwater, she broke the silence.
" I heard you went fishing the other day,"
"And the judge told me about a big bass
you hooked, and how you played him longer
than was necessary for the mere fun of the
"Perhaps you will find in the feeling that
prompted you to do that a clue to the char
acter of our sex."
MR. COOKE had had a sloop yacht built at
Far Harbor, the completion of which had been
delayed, and which was but just delivered. She
was painted white, with brass fittings, and under
her stern, in big, black letters, was the word
Maria, intended as a surprise and delicate con
jugal compliment to Mrs. Cooke. The Maria
had a cabin, which was finished in hard wood
and yellow plush, and accommodations for keep
ing things cold. This last Mr. Cooke had in
The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far
Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke
warm interest in his new billet and employer,
and had only been prevailed upon to take charge
of the yacht for the month after the offer of an
emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an
ensign in the navy. His son and helper. was
to receive a sum proportionally exorbitant.
This worthy man sighted Mohair on a Sunday
morning, and at nine o'clock dropped his anchor
The Celebrity 137
with a salute which caused Mr. Cooke to say
unpleasant things in his sleep. After making
things ship-shape and hoisting the jack, both
father and son rowed ashore to the little church
Now the butler at Mohair was a servant who
had learned, from long experience, to anticipate
every wish and whim of his master, and from
the moment he descried the white sails of the
yacht out of the windows of the butler's pantry
his duty was clear as daylight. Such was the
comprehension and despatch with which he gave
his commands that the captain returned from
divine worship to find the Maria in profane
hands, her immaculate deck littered with straw
and sawdust, and covered to the coamings with
bottles and cases. This decided the captain :
he packed his kit in high dudgeon, and took
the first train back to Far Harbor, leaving the
yacht to her fate.
This sudden and inconsiderate departure was
a severe blow to Mr. Cooke, who was so consti
tuted that he cared but little about anything
until there was danger of not getting it. My
client had planned a trip to Bear Island for the
following Tuesday, which was to last a week,
138 The Celebrity
the party to bring tents with them and rough
it, with the Maria as headquarters. It was out
of the question to send to Far Harbor for
another skipper, if, indeed, one could be found
at that late period. And as luck would have it,
six of Mr. Cooke's ten guests had left but a day
or so since, and among them had been the only
yacht-owner. None of the four that remained
could do more than haul aft and belay a sheet.
But the Celebrity, who chanced along as Mr.
Cooke was ruefully gazing at the graceful lines
of the Maria from the wharf and cursing the
fate that kept him ashore with a stiff wind blow
ing, proposed a way out of the difficulty. He,
the Celebrity, would gladly sail the Maria over
to Bear Island provided another man could be
found to relieve him occasionally at the wheel,
and the like. He had noticed that Farrar was
a capable hand in a boat, and suggested that he
be sent for.
This suggestion Mr. Cooke thought so well
of that he hurried over to Asquith to consult
Farrar at once, and incidentally to consult me.
We can hardly be blamed for receiving his over
tures with a moderate enthusiasm. In fact, we
were of one mind not to go when the subject
The Celebrity 139
was first broached. But ray client had a per
suasive way about him that was irresistible, and
the mere mention of the favors he had conferred
upon both of us at different periods of our lives
was sufficient. We consented.
Thus it came to pass that Tuesday niorning
found the party assembled on the wharf at
Mohair, the Four and the Celebrity, as well as
Mr. Cooke, having produced yachting suits from
their inexhaustible wardrobes. Mr. Trevor and
his daughter, Mrs. Cooke and Miss Thorn, and
Farrar and myself completed the party. We
were to adhere strictly to primeval principles :
the ladies were not permitted a maid, while the
Celebrity was forced to leave his manservant,
and Mr. Cooke his chef. I had, however, thrust
into my pocket the Minneapolis papers, which
had been handed me by the clerk on their arri
val at the inn, which happened just as I was
leaving. Quod bene notandum!
Thereby hangs a tale !
For the northern lakes the day was rather
dead : a little wind lay in the southeast, scarcely
enough to break the water, with the sky an in
tense blue. But the Maria was hardly cast and
under way before it became painfully apparent
140 The Celebrity
that the Celebrity was much better fitted to
lead a cotillon than to sail a boat. He gave
his orders, nevertheless, in a firm, seamanlike
fashion, though with no great pertinence, and
thus managed to establish the confidence of Mr.
Cooke. Farrar, after setting things to rights,
joined Mrs. Cooke and me over the cabin.
" How about hoisting the spinnaker, mate ? "
the Celebrity shouted after him.
Farrar did not deign to answer : his eye was
on the wind. And the boom, which had been
acting uneasily, finally decided to gybe, and
swept majestically over, carrying two of the
Four in front of it, and all but dropped them
into the water.
"A common occurrence in a light breeze,"
we heard the Celebrity reassure Mr. Cooke
and Miss Thorn.
" The Maria has vindicated her sex," remarked
"Why don't you sail, Mr. Farrar?" asket*
" He can't do any harm in this breeze," Far
rar replied ; " it isn't strong enough to get
The Celebrity 141
He was right. The boom gybed twenty times
that morning, and the Celebrity offered an equal
number of apologies. Mr. Cooke and the Four
vanished, and from the uproarious laughter which
arose from the cabin transoms I judged they
were telling stories. While Miss Thorn spent
the time profitably in learning how to conn a
yacht. At one, when we had luncheon, Mohair
was still in the distance. At two it began to
cloud over, the wind fell flat, and an ominous
black bank came up from the south. Without
more ado, Farrar, calling on me to give him a
hand, eased down the halliards and began to
close reef the mainsail.
" Hold on," said the Celebrity, "who told you
to do that ? "
" I am very sure you didn't," Farrar returned,
as he hauled out a reef earing.
Here a few drops of rain on the deck warned
the ladies to retire to the cabin.
"Take the helm until I get my mackintosh,
will you, Farrar?" said the Celebrity, "and be
careful what you do."
Farrar took the helm and hauled in the sheet,
while the Celebrity, Mr. Cooke, and the guests
donned their rain-clothes. The water ahead was
142 The Celebrity
now like blue velvet, and the rain pelting. The
Maria was heeling to the squall by the time the
Celebrity appeared at the cabin door, enveloped
in an ample waterproof, a rubber cover on his
yachting cap. A fool despises a danger he has
never experienced, and our author, with a re
mark about a spanking breeze, made a motion
to take the wheel. But Farrar, the flannel of
his shirt clinging to the muscular outline of his
shoulders, gave him a push which sent him
sprawling against the lee refrigerator. Well
Miss Thorn was not there to see.
"You will have to answer for this," he cried,
as he scrambled to his feet and clutched the
weather wash-board with one hand, while he
shook the other in Farrar's face.
"Crocker," said Farrar to me, coolly, "keep
that idiot out of the way for a while, or we'll all
be drowned. Tie him up, if necessary."
I was relieved from this somewhat unpleasant
task. Mr. Cooke, with his back to the rain, sat
an amused witness to the mutiny, as blissfully
ignorant as the Celebrity of the character of a
" I appeal to you, as the owner of this yacht,
Mr. Cooke," the Celebrity shouted, "whether,
The Celebrity 143
as the person delegated by you to take charge
of it, I am to suffer indignity and insult. I
have sailed larger yachts than this time and
again on the coast, at " here he swallowed a
portion of a wave and was mercifully prevented
from being specific.
But Mr. Cooke was looking a trifle bewildered.
It was hardly possible for him to cling to the re
frigerator, much less quell a mutiny. One who
has sailed the lakes well knows how rapidly they
can be lashed to fury by a storm, and the wind
was now spinning the tops of the waves into a
blinding spray. Although the Maria proved a
stiff boat and a seaworthy, she was not alto
gether without motion ; and the set expression
on Farrar's face would have told me, had I not
known it, that our situation at that moment was
no joke. Repeatedly, as she was held up to it,
a precocious roller would sweep from bow to
stern, until we without coats were wet and
The close and crowded cabin of a small yacht
is not an attractive place in rough weather ; and
one by one the Four emerged and distributed
themselves about the deck, wherever they could
obtain a hold. Some of them began to act
144 The Celebrity
peculiarly. Upon Mr. Cooke's unwillingness or
inability to interfere in his behalf, the Celebrity
had assumed an aggrieved demeanor, but soon
the motion of the Maria became more and more
pronounced, and the difficulty of maintaining his
decorum likewise increased. The ruddy color
left his face, which grew pale with effort. I
will do him the justice to say that the effort was
heroic : he whistled popular airs, and snatches
of the grand opera ; he relieved Mr. Cooke of
his glasses (of which Mr. Cooke had neglected
to relieve himself), and scanned the sea line
busily. But the inevitable deferred is fre
quently more violent than the inevitable taken
gracefully, and the confusion which at length
overtook the Celebrity was utter as his humilia
tion was complete. We laid him beside Mr.
Cooke in the cockpit.
The rain presently ceased, and the wind
hauled, as is often the case, to the northwest,
which began to clear, while Bear Island rose
from the northern horizon. Both Farrar and
I were surprised to see Miss Trevor come out ;
she hooked back the cabin doors and surveyed
the prostrate forms with amusement.
We asked her about those inside.
The Celebrity 145
"Mrs. Cooke has really been very ill," she
said, "and Miss Thorn is doing all she can for
her. My father and I were more fortunate.
But you will both catch your deaths," she ex
claimed, noticing our condition. "Tell me
where I can find your coats."
I suppose it is natural for a man to enjoy
being looked after in this way ; it was certainly
a new sensation to Farrar and myself. We
assured her we were drying out and did not
need the coats, but nevertheless she went back
into the cabin and found them.
"Miss Thorn says you should both be
whipped," she remarked.
When we had put on our coats Miss Trevor
sat down and began to talk.
"I once heard of a man," she began com
placently, "a man that was buried alive, and
who contrived to dig himself up and then read
his own epitaph. It did not please him, but he
was wise and amended his life. I have often
thought how much it might help some people
if they could read their own epitaphs."
Farrar was very quick at this sort of thing ;
and now that the steering had become easier
was only too glad to join her in worrying the
146 The Celebrity
Celebrity. But he, if he were conscious, gave
no sign of it.
" They ought to be buried so that they could
not dig themselves up," he said. "The epi
taphs would only strengthen their belief that
they had lived in an unappreciative age."
" One I happen to have in mind, however,
lives in an appreciative age. Most appreciative."
" And women are often epitaph-makers."
"You are hard on the sex, Mr. Farrar," she
answered, "but perhaps justly so. And yet
there are some women I know of who would
not write an epitaph to his taste."
Farrar looked at her curiously.
" I beg your pardon," he said.
"Do not imagine I am touchy on the sub
ject," she replied quickly; "some of us are
fortunate enough to have had our eyes opened."
I thought the Celebrity stirred uneasily.
" Have you read The Sybarites?" she asked.
Farrar was puzzled.
"No," said he sententiously, "and I don't
" I know the average man thinks it a disgrace
to have read it. And you may not believe me
when I say that it is a strong story of its kind,
The Celebrity 147
with a strong moral. There are men who
might read that book and be a great deal better
for it. And, if they took the moral to heart,
it would prove every bit as effectual as their
He was not quite sure of her drift, but he
perceived that she was still making fun of
" And the moral ? " he inquired.
"Well," she said, "the best I can do is to give
you a synopsis of the story, and then you can
judge of its fitness. The hero is called Victor
Desmond. He is a young man of a sterling
though undeveloped character, who has been
hampered by an indulgent parent with a large
fortune. Desmond is a butterfly, and sips life
after the approved manner of his kind, now
from Bohemian glass, now from vessels of gold
and silver. He chats with stage lights in their
dressing-rooms, and, attends a ball in the Bow
ery or a supper at Sherry's with a ready ver
satility. The book, apart from its intention,
really gives the middle classes an excellent idea
of what is called ' high-life.'
" It is some time before Desmond discovers
that he possesses the gift of Paris, a delib-
148 The Celebrity
eration proving his lack of conceit, that wher
ever he goes he unwittingly breaks a heart, and
sometimes two or three. This discovery is
naturally so painful that he comes home to his
chambers and throws himself on a lounge before
his fire in a fit of self-deprecation, and reflects
on a misspent and foolish life. This, mind you,
is where his character starts to develop. And
he makes a heroic resolve, not to cut off his
nose or to grow a beard, nor get married, but
henceforth to live a life of usefulness and seclu
sion, which was certainly considerate. And
furthermore, if by any accident he ever again
involved the affections of another girl he would
marry her, be she as ugly as sin or as poor as
poverty. Then the heroine comes in. Her
name is Rosamond, which sounds well and may
be euphoniously coupled with Desmond ; and,
with the single exception of a boarding-school
girl, she is the only young woman he ever
thought of twice. In order to save her and
himself he goes away, but the temptation to
write to her overpowers him, and of course she
answers his letter. This brings on a corre
spondence. His letters take the form of con
fessions, and are the fruits of much philosophical
The Celebrity 149
reflection. ' Inconstancy in woman,' he says,
' because of the present social conditions, is
often pardonable. In a man, nothing is more
despicable.' This is his cardinal principle, and
he sticks to it nobly. For, though he tires of
Rosamond, who is quite attractive, however, he
marries her and lives a life of self-denial. There
are men who might take that story to heart."
I was amused that she should give the pas
sage quoted by the Celebrity himself. Her
double meaning was, naturally, lost on Farrar,
but he enjoyed the thing hugely, nevertheless,
as more or less applicable to Mr. Allen. I made
sure that gentleman was sensible of what was
being said, though he scarcely moved a muscle.
And Miss Trevor, with a mirthful glance at me
that was not without a tinge of triumph, jumped
lightly to the deck and went in to see the
We were now working up into the lee of the
island, whose tall pines stood clean and black
against the red glow of the evening sky. Mr.
Cooke began to give evidences of life, and
finally got up and overhauled one of the ice-
chests for a restorative. Farrar put into the
little cove, where we dropped anchor, and soon
150 The Celebrity
had the chief sufferers ashore ; and a delicate
supper, in the preparation of which Miss Thorn
showed her ability as a cook, soon restored
them. For my part, I much preferred Miss
Thorn's dishes to those of the Mohair chef, and
so did Farrar. And the Four, surprising as it
may seem, made themselves generally useful
about the camp in pitching the tents under Far-
rar's supervision. But the Celebrity remained
apart and silent.
OUR first night in the Bear Island camp
passed without incident, and we all slept pro
foundly, tired out by the labors of the day
before. After breakfast the Four set out to
explore, with trout-rods and shot-guns. Bear
Island is, with the exception of the cove into
which we had put, as nearly round as an island
can be, and perhaps three miles in diameter. It
has two clear brooks which, owing to the com
parative inaccessibility of the place, still contain
trout and grayling, though there are few spots
where a fly can be cast on account of the dense
underbrush. The woods contain partridge, or
ruffed grouse, and other game in smaller quan
tities. I believe my client entertained some
notion of establishing a preserve here.
The insults which had been heaped upon the
Celebrity on the yacht seemed to have raised
rather than lowered him in Miss Thorn's esteem,
for these two ensconced themselves among the
pines above the camp with an Edition de luxe of
152 The Celebrity
one of his works which she had brought along.
They were soon absorbed in one of those famous
short stories of his with the ending left open to
discussion. Mr. Cooke was indisposed. He
had not yet recovered from the shaking up his
system had sustained, and he took to a canvas
easy chair he had brought with him and placed
a decanter of Scotch and a tumbler of ice at his
side. The efficacy of this remedy was assured.
And he demanded the bunch of newspapers he
spied protruding from my pocket.
The rest of us were engaged in various occu
pations : Mr. Trevor relating experiences of
steamboat days on the Ohio to Mrs. Cooke ;
Miss Trevor buried in a serial in the Century ;
and Farrar and I taking an inventory of fishing-
tackle, when we were startled by a loud and pro
fane ejaculation. Mr. Cooke had hastily put
down his glass and was staring at the newspaper
before him with eyes as large as after-dinner
"Come here," he shouted over at us. "Come
here, Crocker," he repeated, seeing we were slow
to move. " For God's sake, come here ! "
In obedience to this emphatic summons I
crossed the stream and drew near to Mr. Cooke,
The Celebrity 153
who was busily pouring out another glass of
whiskey to tide him over this strange excite
ment. But, as Mr. Cooke was easily excited
and on such occasions always drank whiskey to
quiet his nerves, I thought nothing of it. He
was sitting bolt upright and held out the paper
to me with a shaking hand, while he pointed to
some headlines on the first page. And this is
what I read :
TREASURER TAKES A TRIP.
CHARLES WREXELL ALLEN, OF THE MILES STAN-
DISH BICYCLE COMPANY, GETS OFF WITH
THE ABSCONDER A BACK BAY SOCIAL LEADER.
Half way down the column was a picture of
Mr. Allen, a cut made from a photograph, and,
allowing for the crudities of newspaper repro
duction, it was a striking likeness of the Celeb
rity. Underneath was a short description. Mr.
Allen was five feet eleven (the Celebrity's
height), had a straight nose, square chin, dark
hair and eyes, broad shoulders, was dressed
elaborately; in brief, tallied in every particular
with the Celebrity with the exception of the
254 The Celebrity
slight scar which Allen was thought to have on
The situation and all its ludicrous possibilities
came over me with a jump. It was too good to
be true. Had Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen
arrived at Asquith and created a sensation with
the man who stole his name I should have been
amply satisfied. But that Mr. Allen had been
obliging enough to abscond with a large sum of
money was beyond dreaming !
I glanced at the rest of it : a history of the
well-established company followed, with all that
Mr. Allen had done for it. v The picture, by the
way, had been obtained from the St. Paul agent
of the bicycle. After doing due credit to the
treasurer's abilities as a hustler there followed
a summary of his character, hitherto without
reproach ; but his tastes were expensive ones.
Mr. Allen's tendency to extravagance had been
noticed by the members of the Miles Standish
Company, and some of the older directors had
on occasions remonstrated with him. But he
had been too valuable a man to let go, and it
seems as treasurer he was trusted implicitly.
He was said to have more clothes than any man
The Celebrity 155
I am used to thinking quickly, and by the
time I had read this I had an idea.
" What in hell do you make of that, Crocker?"
cried my client, eyeing me closely and repeating
the question again and again, as was his wont
" It is certainly plain enough," I replied, " but
I should like to talk to you before you decide to
hand him over to the authorities."
I thought I knew Mr. Cooke, and I was not
"Authorities!" he roared. "Damn the au
thorities ! There's my yacht, and there's the
Canadian border." And he pointed to the
The others were pressing around us by this
time, and had caught the significant words which
Mr. Cooke had uttered. I imagine that if my
client had stopped to think twice, which of
course is a preposterous condition, he would
have confided his discovery only to Farrar and
to me. It was now out of the question to keep
it from the rest of the party, and Mr. Trevor got
the headlines over my shoulder. I handed him
" Read it, Mr. Trevor," said Mrs. Cooke.
156 The Celebrity
Mr. Trevor, in a somewhat unsteady voice,
read the headlines and began the column, and
they followed breathless with astonishment and
agitation. Once or twice the senator paused
to frown upon the Celebrity with a terrible
sternness, thus directing all other eyes to him.
His demeanor was a study in itself. It may be
surmised, from what I have said of him, that
there was a strain of the actor in his compo
sition ; and I am prepared to make an affidavit
that, secure in the knowledge that he had wit
nesses present to attest his identity, he hugely
enjoyed the sensation he was creating. That
he looked forward with a profound pleasure to
the stir which the disclosure that he was the
author of The Sybarites would make. His face
wore a beatific smile.
As Mr. Trevor continued, his voice became
firmer and his manner more majestic. It was a
task distinctly to his taste, and one might have
thought he was reading the sentence of a Hast
ings. I was standing next to his daughter. The
look of astonishment, perhaps of horror, which
I had seen on her face when her father first
began to read had now faded into something
akin to wickedness. Did she wink? I can't
The Celebrity 157
say, never before having had a young woman
wink at me. But the next moment her vin
aigrette was rolling down the bank towards the
brook, and I was after it. I heard her close
behind me. She must have read my intentions
by a kind of mental telepathy.
" Are you going to do it ? " she whispered.
"Of course," I answered. "To miss such a
chance would be a downright sin."
There was a little awe in her laugh.
" Miss Thorn is the only obstacle," I added,
" and Mr. Cooke is our hope. I think he will
go by me."
"Don't let Miss Thorn worry you," she said
as we climbed back.
" What do you mean ? " I demanded. But she
only shook her head. We were at the top again,
and Mr. Trevor was reading an appended de
spatch from Buffalo, stating that Mr. Allen had
been recognized there, in the latter part of
June, walking up and down the platform of
the station, in a smoking-jacket, and that he
had climbed on the Chicago limited as it pulled
out. This may have caused the Celebrity to
feel a trifle uncomfortable.
" Ha ! " exclaimed Mr. Trevor, as he put down
158 The Celebrity
the paper. " Mr. Cooke, do you happen to have
any handcuffs on the Maria ? "
But my client was pouring out a stiff helping
from the decanter, which he still held in his
hand. Then he approached the Celebrity.
"Don't let it worry you, old man," said he,
with intense earnestness. " Don't let it worry
you. You're my guest, and I'll see you safe
out of it, or bust."
"Fenelon," said Mrs. Cooke, gravely, "do
you realize what you are saying?"
"You're a clever one, Allen," my client con
tinued, and he backed away the better to look
him over; "you had nerve to stay as long as
The Celebrity laughed confidently.
" Cooke," he replied, " I appreciate your gen
erosity, I really do. I know no offence is
meant. The mistake is, in fact, most pardon
In Mr. Cooke amazement and admiration
were clamoring for utterance.
" Damn me," he sputtered, " if you're not the
coolest embezzler I ever saw."
The Celebrity laughed again. Then he sur
veyed the circle.
The Celebrity 159
"My friends," he said, "this is certainly a
most amazing coincidence; one which, I assure
you, surprises me no less than it does you.
You have no doubt remarked that I have my
peculiarities. We all have.
" I flatter myself I am not entirely unknown.
And the annoyances imposed upon me by a
certain fame I have achieved had become such
that some months ago I began to crave the
pleasures of the life of a private man. I
determined to go to some sequestered resort
where my face was unfamiliar. The possibil
ity of being recognized at Asquith did not occur
to me. Fortunately I was. And a singular
chance led me to take the name of the man
who has committed this crime, and who has
the misfortune to resemble me. I suppose that
now," he added impressively, " I shall have to
tell you who I am."
He paused until these words should have
gained their full effect. Then he held up the
Edition de luxe from which he and Miss Thorn
had been reading.
" You may have heard, Mrs. Cooke," said he,
addressing himself to our hostess, "you may
perhaps have heard of the author of this book."
160 The Celebrity
Mrs. Cooke was a calm woman, and she read
the name on the cover.
" Yes," she said, " I have. And you claim to
"Ask my friend Crocker here," he answered
carelessly, no doubt exulting that the scene was
going off so dramatically. " I should indeed be
in a tight box," he went on, " if there were not
friends of mine here to help me out."
They turned to me.
"I am afraid I cannot," I said with what
soberness I could.
" What ! " says he with a start. " What ! you
deny me ? "
Miss Trevor had her tongue in her cheek.
"I am powerless to speak, Mr. Allen," I
During this colloquy my client stood between
us, looking from one to the other. I well knew
that his way of thinking would be with my testi
mony, and that the gilt name on the Edition de
luxe had done little towards convincing him of
Mr. Allen's innocence. To his mind there was
nothing horrible or incongruous in the idea that
a well-known author should be a defaulter. It
The Celebrity 161
was perfectly possible. He shoved the glass of
Scotch towards the Celebrity, with a smile.
"Take this, old man," he kindly insisted,
"and you'll feel better. What's the use of
bucking when you're saddled with a thing like
that?" And he pointed to the paper. "Be
sides, they haven't caught you yet, by a damned
The Celebrity waved aside the proffered
"This is an infamous charge, and you know
it, Crocker," he cried. " If you don't, you ought
to, as a lawyer. This isn't any time to have
fun with a fellow."
" My dear sir," I said, " I have charged you
with nothing whatever."
He turned his back on me in complete
disgust. And he came face to face with Miss
" Miss Trevor, too, knows something of me,"
"You forget, Mr. Allen," she answered
sweetly, "you forget that I have given you
my promise not to reveal what I know."
The Celebrity chafed, for this was as damag-
ing a statement as could well be uttered against
1 62 The Celebrity
him. But Miss Thorn was his trump card, and
she now came forward.
"This is ridiculous, Mr. Crocker, simply ri
diculous," said she.
" I agree with you most heartily, Miss Thorn,"
" Nonsense ! " exclaimed Miss Thorn, and she
drew her lips together, " pure nonsense ! "
" Nonsense or not, Marian," Mr. Cooke inter
posed, "we are wasting valuable time. The
police are already on the scent, I'll bet my
" Fenelon ! " Mrs. Cooke remonstrated.
" And do you mean to say in soberness, Uncle
Fenelon, that you believe the author of The
Sybarites to be a defaulter?" said Miss Thorn.
"It is indeed hard to believe Mr. Allen a
criminal," Mr. Trevor broke in for the first
time. " I think it only right that he should be
allowed to clear himself before he is put to
further inconvenience, and perhaps injustice,
by any action we may take in the matter."
Mr. Cooke sniffed suspiciously at the word
" What action do you mean ? " he demanded.
" Well," replied Mr. Trevor, with some hesita-
The Celebrity 163
tion, " before we take any steps, that is, notify
" Notify the police ! " cried my client, his face
red with a generous anger. " I have never yet
turned a guest over to the police," he said
proudly, "and won't, not if I know it. I'm
not that kind."
Who shall criticise Mr. Cooke's code of
"Fenelon," said his wife, "you must remem
ber you have never yet entertained a guest of
a larcenous character. No embezzlers up to
the present. Marian," she continued, turning
to Miss Thorn, "you spoke as if you might
be able to throw some light upon this matter.
Do you know whether this gentleman is Charles
Wrexell Allen, or whether he is the author?
In short, do you know who he is?"
The Celebrity lighted a cigarette. Miss Thorn
" Upon my word, Aunt Maria, I thought that
you, at least, would know better than to credit
this silly accusation. He has been a guest at
your house, and I am astonished that you should
doubt his word."
Mrs. Cooke looked at her niece perplexedly.
164 The Celebrity
"You must remember, Marian," she said
gently, " that I know nothing about him,
where he came from, or who he is. Nor does
any one at Asquith, except perhaps Miss Trevor,
by her own confession. And you do not seem
inclined to tell what you know, if indeed you
Upon this Miss Thorn became more indig
nant still, and Mrs. Cooke went on :
" Gentlemen, as a rule, do not assume names,
especially other people's. They are usually
proud of their own. Mr. Allen appears among
us, from the clouds, as it were, and in due time
we learn from a newspaper that he has com
mitted a defalcation. And, furthermore, the
paper contains a portrait and an accurate de
scription which put the thing beyond doubt.
I ask you, is it reasonable for him to state
coolly after all this that he is another man?
That he is a well-known author? It's an
absurdity. I was not born yesterday, my
"It is most reasonable under the circum
stances," replied Miss Thorn, warmly. "Extraor
dinary ? Of course it's extraordinary. And too
long to explain to a prejudiced audience, who
The Celebrity 165
can't be expected to comprehend the character
of a genius, to understand the yearning of a
famous man for a little quiet."
Mrs. Cooke looked grave.
" Marian, you forget yourself," she said.
" Oh, I am tired of it, Aunt Maria," cried
Miss Thorn; "if he takes my advice, he will
refuse to discuss it farther."
She did not seem to be aware that she had
put forth no argument whatever, save a woman's
argument. And I was intensely surprised that
her indignation should have got the better of
her in this way, having always supposed her
clear-headed in the extreme. A few words from
her, such as I supposed she would have spoken,
had set the Celebrity right with all except Mr.
Cooke. To me it was a clear proof that the
Celebrity had turned her head, and her mind
The silence was broken by an uncontrollable
burst of laughter from Miss Trevor. She was
quickly frowned down by her father, who re
minded her that this was not a comedy.
"And, Mr. Allen," he said, "if you have any
thing to say, or any evidence to bring forward,
now is the time to do it."
1 66 The Celebrity
He appeared to forget that I was the district
The Celebrity had seated himself on the
trunk of a tree, and was blowing out the smoke
in clouds. He was inclined to take Miss
Thorn's advice, for he made a gesture of weari
ness with his cigarette, in the use of which he
was singularly eloquent.
"Tell me, Mr. Trevor," said he, "why I
should sit before you as a tribunal ? Why I
should take the trouble to clear myself of a
senseless charge ? My respect for you inclines
me to the belief that you are laboring under a
momentary excitement ; for when you reflect
that I am a prominent, not to say famous, au
thor, you will realize how absurd it is that I
should be an embezzler, and why I decline to
lower myself by an explanation."
Mr. Trevor picked up the paper and struck it.
"Do you refuse to say anything in the face
of such evidence as that ? " he cried.
"It is not a matter for refusal, Mr. Trevor.
It is simply that I cannot admit the possibility
of having committed the crime."
"Well, sir," said the senator, his black neck
tie working out of place as his anger got the
The Celebrity 167
better of him, " I am to believe, then, because
you claim to be the author of a few society
novels, that you are infallible ? Let me tell
you that the President of the United States
himself is liable to impeachment, and bound
to disprove any charge he may be accused of.
What in Halifax do I care for your divine-
right-of -authors theory ? I'll continue to think
you guilty until you are shown to be inno
Suddenly the full significance of the Celeb
rity's tactics struck Mr. Cooke, and he reached
out and caught hold of Mr. Trevor's coat-
"Hold on, old man," said he; "Allen isn't
going to be ass enough to own up to it. Don't
you see we'd all be jugged and fined for assist
ing a criminal over the border? It's out of con
sideration for us."
Mr. Trevor looked sternly over his shoulder
at Mr. Cooke.
"Do you mean to say, sir, seriously," he
asked, "that, for the sake of a misplaced friend
ship for this man, and a misplaced sense of
honor, you are bound to shield a guest, though
a criminal ? That you intend to assist him to
1 68 The Celebrity
escape from justice ? I insist, for my own pro
tection and that of my daughter, as well as for
that of the others present that, since he refuses
to speak, we must presume him guilty and turn
Mr. Trevor turned to Mrs. Cooke, as if rely
ing on her support.
" Fenelon," said she, " I have never sought
to influence your actions when your friends
were concerned, and I shall not begin now.
All I ask of you is to consider the conse
quences of your intention."
These words from Mrs. Cooke had much
more weight with my client than Mr. Trevor's
" Maria, my dear," he said, with a deferential
urbanity, " Mr. Allen is my guest, and a gentle
man. When a gentleman gives his word that
he is not a criminal, it is sufficient."
The force of this, for some reason, did not
overwhelm his wife ; and her lip curled a little,
half in contempt, half in risibility.
"Pshaw, Fenelon," said she, "what a fraud
you are. Why is it you wish to get Mr. Allen
over the border, then ? " A question which
might well have staggered a worthier intellect.
The Celebrity 169
"Why, my dear," answered my client, "I
wish to save Mr. Allen the inconvenience, not
to say the humiliation, of being brought East
in custody and strapped with a pair of hand
cuffs. Let him take a shooting trip to the
great Northwest until the real criminal is
"Well, Fenelon," replied Mrs. Cooke, unable
to repress a smile, "one might as well try to
argue with a turn-stile or a weather-vane. I
wash my hands of it."
But Mr. Trevor, who was both a self-made
man and a Western politician, was far from
being satisfied. He turned to me with a sweep
of the arm he had doubtless learned in the Ohio
"Mr. Crocker," he cried, "are you, as attor
ney of this district, going to aid and abet in the
escape of a fugitive from justice ? "
" Mr. Trevor," said I, " I will take the course
in this matter which seems fit to me, and with
out advice from any one."
He wheeled on Farrar, repeated the question,
and got a like answer.
Brought to bay for a time, he glared savagely
around him while gropiner for further arguments.
1 70 The Celebrity
But at this point the Four appeared on the
scene, much the worse for thickets, and clamor
ing for luncheon. They had five small fish
between them which they wanted Miss
THE Four received Mr. Cooke's plan for the
Celebrity's escape to Canada with enthusiastic
acclamation, and as the one thing lacking to
make the Bear Island trip a complete success. f
The Celebrity was hailed with the reverence
due to the man who puts up the ring-money in
a prize-fight. He was accorded, too, a certain
amount of respect as a defaulter, which the
Four would have denied him as an author, for I
am inclined to the belief that the discovery of
his literary profession would have lowered him
rather than otherwise in their eyes. My client
was naturally anxious to get under way at once
for the Canadian border, but was overruled in
this by his henchmen, who demanded some
thing to eat. We sat down to an impromptu
meal, which was an odd affair indeed. Mrs.
Cooke maintained her usual serenity, but said
little, while Miss Trevor and I had many a
mirthful encounter at the thought of the turn
matters had taken.
172 The Celebrity
At the other end of the cloth were Mr. Cooke
and the Four, in wonderful spirits and unim
paired appetite, and in their midst sat the
Celebrity, likewise in wonderful spirits. His
behavior now and again elicited a loud grunt of
disapproval from Mr. Trevor, who was plying
his knife and fork in a manner emblematic of
his state of mind. Mr. Allen was laughing and
joking airily with Mr. Cooke and the guests,
denying, but not resenting, their accusations
with all the sang froid of a hardened criminal.
He did not care particularly to go to Canada,
he said. Why should he, when he was inno
cent? But, if Mr. Cooke insisted, he would
enjoy seeing that part of the lake and the
Afterwards I perceived Miss Thorn down by
the brookside, washing dishes. Her sleeves
were drawn back to the elbow, and a dainty
white apron covered her blue skirt, while the
wind from the lake had disentangled errant
wisps of her hair. I stood on the brink above,
secure, as I thought, from observation, when
she chanced to look up and spied me.
"Mr. Crocker," she called, "would you like
to make yourself useful ? "
The Celebrity 173
I was decidedly embarrassed. Her manner
was as frank and unconstrained as though I had
not been shunning her for weeks past
" If such a thing is possible," I replied.
"Do you know a dish-cloth when you see
I was doubtful. But I procured the cloth
from Miss Trevor and returned. There was an
air about Miss Thorn that was new to me.
" What an uncompromising man you are, Mr.
Crocker," she said to me. "Once a person is
unfortunate enough to come under the ban of
your disapproval you have nothing whatever to
do with them. Now it seems that I have given
you offence in some way. Is it not so?"
" You magnify my importance," I said.
"No temporizing, Mr. Crocker," she went
on, as though she meant to be obeyed ; " sit
down there, and let's have it out. I like you
too well to quarrel with you."
There was no resisting such a command, and
I threw myself on the pebbles at her feet.
"I thought we were going to be great friends,"
she said. " You and Mr. Farrar were so kind
to me on the night of my arrival, and we had
such fun watching the dance together."
174 The Celebrity
" I confess I thought so, too. But you ex
pressed opinions then that I shared. You have
since changed your mind, for some unaccount
She paused in her polishing, a shining dish in
her hand, and looked down at me with some
thing between a laugh and a frown.
" I suppose you have never regretted speaking
hastily," she said.
"Many a time," I returned, warming; "but if
I ever thought a judgment measured and dis
tilled, it was your judgment of the Celebrity."
"Does the study of law eliminate humanity?"
she asked, with a mock curtsey. " The deliber
ate sentences are sometimes the unjust ones,
and men who are hung by weighed wisdom are
often the innocent."
"That is all very well in cases of doubt.
But here you have the evidences of wrong-doing
directly before you."
Three dishes were taken up, dried, and put
down before she answered me. I threw pebbles
into the brook, and wished I had held my
" What evidence ? " inquired she.
"Well," said I, "I must finish, I suppose. I
The Celebrity 175
had a notion you knew of what I inferred.
First, let me say that I have no desire to preju-
dice you against a person whom you admire."
Something in her tone made me look up.
'"Very good, then," I answered. "I, for one,
can have no use for a man who devotes himself
to a girl long enough to win her affections, and
then deserts her with as little compunction as a
dog does a rat it has shaken. And that is how
your Celebrity treated Miss Trevor."
" But Miss Trevor has recovered, I believe,"
said Miss Thorn.
I began to feel a deep, but helpless, inse
" Happily, yes," I assented.
"Thanks to an excellent physician."
A smile twitched the corners of her mouth, as
though she enjoyed my discomfiture. I re
marked for the fiftieth time how strong her face
was, with its generous lines and clearly moulded
features. And a suspicion entered my soul.
"At any rate," I said, with a laugh, "the
Celebrity has got himself into no end of a pre
dicament now. He may go back to New York
176 The Celebrity
" I thought you incapable of resentment, Mr.
Crocker. How mean of you to deny him ! "
"It can do no harm," I answered; "a little
lesson in the dangers of incognito may be salu
tary. I wish it were a little lesson in the
dangers of something else."
The color mounted to her face as she resumed
" I am afraid you are a very wicked man," she
Before I could reply there came a scuffling
sound from the bank above us, and the snapping
of branches and twigs. It was Mr. Cooke.
His descent, the personal conduction of which
he lost half-way down, was irregular and spas
modic, and a rude concussion at the bottom
knocked off a choice bit of profanity which was
balanced on the tip of his tongue.
" Tobogganing is a little out of season," said
his niece, laughing heartily.
Mr. Cooke brushed himself off, picked up the
glasses which he had dropped in his flight and
pushed them into my hands. Then he pointed
lakeward with bulging eyes.
" Crocker, old man," he said in aloud whisper,
" they tell me that is an Asquith cat-boat."
The Celebrity 177
I followed his finger and saw for the first time
a sail-boat headed for the island, then about two
miles off shore. I raised the glasses.
"Yes," I said, "the Scimitar"
"That's what Farrarsaid," cried he.
"And what about it ?" I asked.
" What about it ? " he ejaculated. " Why, it's
a detective come for Allen. I knew sure as
hell if they got as far as Asquith they wouldn't
stop there. And that's the fastest sail-boat he
could hire there, isn't it ? "
I replied that it was. He seized me by the
shoulder and began dragging me up the bank.
"What are you going to do?" I cried, shaking
" We've got to get on the Maria and run for
it," he panted. "There is no time to be
He had reached the top of the bank and was
running towards the group at the tents. And
he actually infused me with some of his red-hot
enthusiasm, for I hastened after him.
" But you can't begin to get the Maria out
before they will be in here," I shouted.
He stopped short, gazed at the approaching
boat, and then at me.
1/8 The Celebrity
" Is that so ? "
"Yes, of course," said I, "they will be here
in ten minutes."
The Celebrity stood in the midst of the excited
Four. His hair was parted precisely, and he
had induced a monocle to remain in his eye long
enough to examine the Scimitar, his nose at the
critical elevation. This unruffled exterior made
a deep impression on the Four. Was the Ce
lebrity not undergoing the crucial test of a true
sport ? He was an example alike to criminals
Mr. Cooke hurried into the group, which
divided respectfully for him, and grasped the
Celebrity by the hand.
"Something else has got to be done, old
man," he said, in a voice which shook with emo
tion ; " they'll be on us before we can get the
Farrar, who was nailing a rustic bench near
by, straightened up at this, his lip curling with
a desire to laugh.
The Celebrity laid his hand on my client's
" Cooke," said he, " I'm deeply grateful for
all the trouble you wish to take, and for the
The Celebrity 179
solicitude you have shown. But let things be.
I'll come out of it all right."
" Never," cried Cooke, looking proudly around
the Four as some Highland chief might have
surveyed a faithful clan. " I'd a damned sight
rather go to jail myself."
"A damned sight," echoed the Four in unison.
" I insist, Cooke," said the Celebrity, taking
out his eyeglass and tapping Mr. Cooke's purple
necktie, "I insist that you drop this business. I
repeat my thanks to you and these gentlemen
for the friendship they have shown, but say again
that I am as innocent of this crime as a baby."
Mr. Cooke paid no attention to this speech.
His face became radiant.
" Didn't any of you fellows strike a cave, or a
hollow tree, or something of that sort, knocking
around this morning ? "
One man slapped his knee.
"The very place," he cried. "I fell into it,"
and he showed a rent in his trousers corrobora-
tively. "It's big enough to hold twenty of
Allen, and the detective doesn't live that could
"Hustle him off, quick," said Mr. Cooke.
The mandate was obeyed as literally as
i8o The Celebrity
though Robin Hood himself had given it. The
Celebrity disappeared into the forest, carried
rather than urged towards his destined place of
The commotion had brought Mr. Trevor to
the spot. He caught sight of the Celebrity's
back between the trees, then he looked at the
cat-boat entering the cove, a man in the stern
preparing to pull in the tender. He intercepted
Mr. Cooke on his way to the beach.
" What have you done with Mr. Allen ? " he
asked, in a menacing voice.
" Good God," said Mr. Cooke, whose contempt
for Mr. Trevor was now infinite, "you talk as
if I were the governor of the state. What the
devil could I do with him ? "
" I will have no evasion," replied Mr. Trevor,
taking an imposing posture in front of him.
" You are try ing to defeat the ends of justice by
assisting a dangerous criminal to escape. I have
warned you, sir, and warn you again of the con
sequences of your meditated crime, and I give
you my word I will do all in my power to frus
Mr. Cooke dug his thumbs into his waistcoat
pockets. Here was a complication he had not
The Celebrity 181
looked for. The Scimitar lay at anchor with
her sail down, and two men were coming ashore
in the tender. Mr. Cooke's attitude being that of
a man who reconsiders a rash resolve, Mr. Trevor
was emboldened to say in a moderated tone :
" You were carried away by your generosity,
Mr. Cooke. I was sure when you took time to
think you would see it in another light."
Mr. Cooke started off for the place where the
boat had grounded. I did not catch his reply,
and probably should not have written it here if
I had. The senator looked as if he had been
The two men jumped out of the boat and
hauled it up. Mr. Cooke waved an easy salute
to one, whom I recognized as the big boatman
from Asquith, familiarly known as Captain Jay.
He owned the Scimitar and several smaller
boats. The captain went through the panto
mime of an introduction between Mr. Cooke and
the other, whom my client shook warmly by
the hand, and presently all three came towards
Mr. Cooke led them to a bar he had impro
vised by the brook. A pool served the office
of refrigerator, and Mr. Cooke had devised an in-
1 82 The Celebrity
genious but complicated arrangement of strings
and labels which enabled him to extract any
bottle or set of bottles without having to bare
his arm and pull out the lot. Farrar and I
responded to the call he had given, and went
down to assist in the entertainment. My client,
with his back to us, was busy manipulating the
"Gentlemen," he said, "let me make you
acquainted with Mr. Drew. You all know the
Had I not suspected Mr. Drew's profession,
I think I should not have remarked that he
gave each of us a keen look as he raised his
head. He had reddish-brown hair, and a pair
of bushy red whiskers, each of which tapered to
a long point. He was broad in the shoulders,
and the clothes he wore rather enhanced this
breadth. His suit was gray and almost new,
the trousers perceptibly bagging at the knee,
and he had a felt hat, a necktie of the white
and flowery pattern, and square-toed "Con
gress " boots. In short, he was a decidedly
ordinary looking person ; you would meet a
hundred like him in the streets of Far Harbor
and Beaverton. He might have been a prosper-
The Celebrity 183
ous business man in either of those towns, a
comfortable lumber merchant or mine owner.
And he had chosen just the get-up I should
have picked for detective work in that region.
He had a pleasant eye and a very fetching and
hearty manner. But his long whiskers troubled
me especially. I kept wondering if they were
"The captain is sailing Mr. Drew over to
Far Harbor," explained Mr. Cooke, "and they
have put in here for the night."
Mr. Drew was plainly not an amateur, for he
volunteered nothing further than this. The nec
essary bottles having been produced, Mr. Cooke
held up his glass and turned to the stranger.
" Welcome to our party, old man," said he.
Mr. Drew drained his glass and complimented
Mr. Cooke on the brand, a sure key to my
client's heart. Whereupon he seated himself
between Mr. Drew and the captain and began
a discourse on the subject of his own cellar, on
which he talked for nearly an hour. His only
pauses were for the worthy purpose of filling
the detective's or the captain's glass, and these
he watched with a hospitable solicitude. The
captain had the advantage, three to one, and I
184 The Celebrity
made no doubt his employer bitterly regretted
not having a boatman whose principles were
more strict. At the end of the hour Captain
Jay, who by nature was inclined to be taciturn
and crabbed, waxed loquacious and even jovial.
He sang us the songs he had learned in the
winter lumber-camps, which Mr. Cooke never
failed to encore to the echo. My client vowed
he had not spent a pleasanter afternoon for
years. He plied the captain with cigars, and
explained to him the mystery of the strings and
labels; and the captain experimented until he
had broken some of the bottles.
Mr. Cooke was not a person who made any
great distinction between the three degrees,
acquaintance, friendship, and intimacy. When
a stranger pleased him, he went from one to the
other with such comparative ease that a hard
hearted man, and no other, could have resented
his advances. Mr. Drew was anything but a
hard-hearted man, and he did not object to my
client's familiarity. Mr. Cooke made no secret
of his admiration for Mr. Drew, and there were
just two things about him that Mr. Cooke ad
mired and wondered at, above all else, the
bushy red whiskers. But it appeared that these
The Celebrity 185
were the only things that Mr. Drew was really
touchy about. I noticed that the detective,
without being impolite, did his best to discour
age these remarks ; but my client knew no such
word as discouragement. He was continually
saying: "I think I'll grow some like that, old
man," or "Have those cut," and the like, a
kind of humor in which the captain took an in
credible delight. And finally, when a certain
pitch of good feeling had been arrived at, Mr.
Cooke reached out and playfully grabbed hold
of the one near him. The detective drew
" Mr. Cooke," said he, with dignity, " I'll have
to ask you to let my whiskers alone."
" Certainly, old man," replied my client, any
thing but abashed. " You'll pardon me, but
they seemed too good to be true. I congratu
late you on them."
I was amused as well as alarmed at this piece
of boldness, but the incident passed off without
any disagreeable results, except, perhaps, a slight
nervousness noticeable in the detective ; and this
soon disappeared. As the sun grew low, the
Celebrity's conductors straggled in with fishing-
rods, and told of an afternoon's sport, and we
1 86 The Celebrity
left the captain peacefully but sonorously slum
bering on the bank.
" Crocker," said my client to me, afterwards,
"they didn't feel like the real, home-grown
article. But aren't they damned handsome ? "
AFTER supper, Captain Jay was rowed out
and put to bed in his own bunk on the Scimi
tar. Then we heaped together a huge pile of
the driftwood on the beach and raised a blazing
beacon, the red light of which I doubt not could
be seen from the mainland. The men made
prongs from the soft wood, while Miss Thorn
produced from the stores some large tins of
The memory of that evening lingers with me
yet. The fire colored everything. The waves
dashed in ruby foam at our feet, and even the
tall, frowning pines at our backs were softened ;
the sting was gone out of the keen night wind
from the north. I found a place beside the gray
cape I had seen for the first time the night of
the cotillon. I no longer felt any great dislike
for Miss Thorn, let it be known. Resentment
was easier when the distance between Mohair
and Asquith separated us, impossible on a
1 88 The Celebrity
yachting excursion. But why should I be jus-
tifying myself ?
Mr. Cooke and the Four, in addition to other
accomplishments, possessed excellent voices, and
Mr. Drew sang a bass which added much to the
melody. One of the Four played a banjo. It
is only justice to Mr. Drew to say that he
seemed less like a detective than any man I
have ever met. He told a good story and was
quick at repartee, and after a while the music,
by tacit consent, was abandoned for the sake
of hearing him talk. He related how he had
worked up the lake, point by point, from Bea-
verton to Asquith, and lightened his narrative
with snappy accounts of the different boatmen
he had run across and of the different predica
ments into which he had fallen. His sketches
were so vivid that Mr. Cooke forgot to wink at
me after a while and sat spellbound, while I
marvelled at the imaginative faculty he dis
played. He had us in roars of laughter. His
stories were far from incredible, and he looked
less like a liar than a detective. He showed,
too, an accurate and astonishing knowledge of
the lake which could hardly have been acquired
in any other way than the long-shore trip he had
The Celebrity 189
described. Not once did he hint of a special
purpose which had brought him to the island,
and it was growing late.
The fire died down upon the stones, and the
thought of the Celebrity, alone in a dark cave
in the middle of the island, began to prey upon
me. I was not designed for a practical joker,
and I take it that pity is a part of every self-
respecting man's composition. In the cool of
the night season the ludicrous side of the matter
did not appeal to me quite as strongly as in the
glare of day. A joke should never be pushed
to cruelty. It was in vain that I argued I had
no direct hand in the concealing of him ; I felt
my responsibility quite as heavy upon me. Per
haps bears still remained in these woods. And
if a bear should devour the author of The Syba
rites, would the world ever forgive me ? Could
I ever repay the debt to the young women of
these United States ?
To speak truth, I expected every moment to
see him appear. Why, in the name of all his
works, did he stay there ? Nothing worse could
befall him than to go to Far Harbor with Drew,
where our words concerning his identity would
be taken. And what an advertisement this
190 The Celebrity
would be for the great author. The Sybarites,
now selling by thousands, would increase its
sales to ten thousands. Ah, there was the rub.
The clue to his remaining in the cave was this
very kink in the Celebrity's character. There
was nothing Bohemian in that character; it
yearned after the eminently respectable. Its
very eccentricities were within the limits of
good form. The Celebrity shunned ' the bis
cuits and beer of the literary clubs, and his
books were bound for the boudoir. To have it
proclaimed in the sensational journals that the
hands of this choice being had been locked for
grand larceny was a thought too horrible to en
tertain. His very manservant would have cried
aloud against it. Better a hundred nights in a
cave than one such experience !
Miss Trevor's behavior that evening was so
unrestful as to lead me to believe that she, too,
was going through qualms of sympathy for the
victim. As we were breaking up for the even
ing she pulled my sleeve.
"Don't you think we have carried our joke
a little too far, Mr. Crocker?" she whispered
uneasily. " I can't bear to think of him in that
The Celebrity 191
"It will do him a world of good," I replied,
assuming a gayety I did not feel. It is not
pleasant to reflect that some day one's own
folly might place one in a like situation. And
the night was dismally cool and windy, now
that the fire had gone out. Miss Trevor began
" Such practical pleasantries as this," she
said, "are like infernal machines: they often
blow up the people that start them. And they
are next to impossible to steer."
"Perhaps it is just as well not to assume we
are the instruments of Providence," I said.
Here we ran into Miss Thorn, who was carry
ing a lantern.
"I have been searching everywhere for you
two mischief-makers," said she. "You ought
to be ashamed of yourselves. Heaven only
knows how this little experiment will end.
Here is Aunt Maria, usually serene, on the
verge of hysterics : she says he shouldn't stay
in that damp cave another minute. Here is
your father^ Irene, organizing relief parties and
walking the floor of his tent like a madman.
And here is Uncle Fenelon insane over the
idea of getting the poor, innocent man into
192 The Celebrity
Canada. And here is a detective saddled upon
us, perhaps for days, and Uncle Fenelon has
gotten his boatman drunk. You ought to be
ashamed of yourselves," she repeated.
Miss Trevor laughed, in spite of the gravity
of these things, and so did I.
" Oh, come, Marian," said she, " it isn't as
bad as all that. And you talk as if you hadn't
anything to be reproached for. Your own de
fence of the Celebrity wasn't as strong as it
might have been."
By the light of the lantern I saw Miss Thorn
cast one meaning look at Miss Trevor.
" What are you going to do about it ? " asked
Miss Thorn, addressing me. "Think of that
unhappy man, without a bed, without blankets,
without even a tooth-brush."
"He hasn't been wholly off my mind," I
answered truthfully. "But there isn't any
thing we can do to-night, with that beastly
detective to notice it."
"Then you must go very early to-morrow
morning, before the detective gets up." .
I couldn't help smiling at the notion of get
ting up before a detective.
" I am only too willing," I said.
The Celebrity 193
"It must be by four o'clock," Miss Thorn
went on energetically, "and we must have a
guide we can trust. Arrange it with one of
Uncle Fenelon's friends."
"We?" I repeated.
" You certainly don't imagine that I am going
to be left behind ? " said Miss Thorn.
I made haste to invite for the expedition one
of the Four, who was quite willing to go ; and
we got together all the bodily comforts we
could think of and put them in a hamper, the
Fraction not forgetting to add a few bottles
from Mr. Cooke's immersed bar.
JLong after the camp had gone to bed, I lay
on the pine-needles above the brook, shielded
from the wind by a break in the slope, and
thought of the strange happenings of that day.
Presently the waning moon climbed reluctantly
from the waters, and the stream became mottled,
black and white, the trees tall blurs. The lake
rose and fell with a mighty rhythm, and the
little brook hurried madly over the stones to
join it. One thought chased another from my
At such times, when one's consciousness of
outer things is dormant, an earthquake might
194 The Celebrity
continue for some minutes without one realizing
it. I did not observe, though I might have
seen from where I lay, the flap of one of the
tents drawn back and two figures emerge. They
came and stood on the bank above, under the
tree which sheltered me. And I experienced
a curious phenomenon. I heard, and under
stood, and remembered the first part of the
conversation which passed between them, and
did not know it.
" I am sorry to disturb you," said one.
"Not at all," said the other, whose tone, I
thought afterwards, betokened surprise, and
no great cheerfulness.
"But I have had no other opportunity to
speak with you."
" No," said the other, rather uneasily.
Suddenly my senses were alert, and I knew
that Mr. Trevor had pulled the detective out
of bed. The senator had no doubt anticipated
an easier time, and he now began feeling for
an opening. More than once he cleared his
throat to commence, while Mr. Drew pulled
his scant clothing closer about him, his whiskers
playing in the breeze.
"In Cincinnati, Mr. Drew," said Mr. Trevor,
The Celebrity 195
at length, " I am a known, if not an influential,
citizen ; and I have served my state for three
terms in its Senate."
"I have visited your city, Mr. Trevor," an
swered Mr. Drew, his teeth chattering audibly,
"and I know you by reputation."
" Then, sir," Mr. Trevor continued, with a
flourish which appeared absolutely grotesque
in his attenuated costume, "it must be clear
to you that I cannot give my consent to a fla
grant attempt by an unscrupulous person to
violate the laws of this country."
" Your feelings are to be respected, sir."
Mr. Trevor cleared his throat again.
"Discretion is always to be observed, Mr.
Drew. And I, who have been in the public
service, know the full value of it."
Mr. Trevor leaned forward, at the same time
glancing anxiously up at the tree, for fear,
perhaps, that Mr. Cooke might be concealed
therein. He said in a stage whisper :
"A criminal is concealed on this island."
Drew started perceptibly.
"Yes," said Mr. Trevor, with a glance of
triumph at having produced an impression on
a detective, " I thought it my duty to inform
196 The Celebrity
you. He has been hidden by the followers of
the unscrupulous person I referred to, in a cave,
I believe. I repeat, sir, as a man of unim
peachable standing, I considered it my duty
to tell you."
"You have my sincere thanks, Mr. Trevor,"
said Drew, holding out his hand, "and I shall
act on the suggestion."
Mr. Trevor clasped the hand of the detective,
and they returned quietly to their respective
tents. And in course of time I followed them,
wondering how this incident might affect our
MY first thought on rising was to look for
the detective. The touch of the coming day
was on the lake, and I made out the two boats
dimly, riding on the dead swell and tugging
idly at their chains. The detective had been
assigned to a tent which was occupied by
Mr. Cooke and the Four, and they were sleep
ing soundly at my entrance. But Drew's blank
ets were empty. I hurried to the beach, but
the Scimitar's boat was still drawn up there
near the Maria's tender, proving that he was
still on the island.
Outside of the ladies' tent I came upon Miss
Thorn, stowing a large basket. I told her that
we had taken that precaution the night before.
" What did you put in ? " she demanded.
I enumerated the articles as best I could.
And when I had finished, she said,
"And I am filling this with the things you
I lost no time in telling her what I had over-
198 The Celebrity
heard the night before, and that the detective
was gone from his tent. She stopped her pack
ing and looked at me in concern.
" He is probably watching us," she said. " Do
you think we had better go ? "
I thought it could do no harm. " If we are
followed," said I, "all we have to do is to turn
Miss Trevor came out as I spoke, and our
conductor appeared, bending under the hamper.
I shouldered some blankets and the basket, and
we started. We followed a rough path, evi
dently cut by a camping party in some past
season, but now overgrown. The Fraction
marched ahead, and I formed the rear guard.
Several times it seemed to me as though some
one were pushing after us, and more than once
we halted. I put down the basket and went
back to reconnoitre. Once I believed I saw a
figure flitting in the gray light, but I set it down
to my imagination.
Finally we reached a brook, sneaking along be
neath the underbrush as though fearing to show
itself, and we followed its course. Branches
lashed our faces and brambles tore our clothes.
And then, as the sunlight was filtering through
The Celebrity 199
and turning the brook from blue to crystal, we
came upon the Celebrity. He was seated in a
little open space on the bank, apparently care
less of capture. He did not even rise at our
approach. His face showed the effect of a
sleepless night and wore an expression inimical
to all mankind. The conductor threw his bundle
on the bank and laid his hand on the Celebrity's
" Halloa, old man ! " said he, cheerily. " You
must have had a hard night of it. But we
couldn't make you any sooner, because that
hawk of an officer had his eye on us."
The Celebrity shook himself free. And in
place of the gratitude for which the Fraction
had looked, and which he had every reason to
expect, he got something different.
"This outrage has gone far enough," said the
Celebrity, with a terrible calmness. The Frac
tion was a man of the world.
" Come, come, old chap ! " he said soothingly,
" don't cut up. We'll make things a little more
homelike here." And he pulled a bottle from
the depths of the hamper. "This will brace
He picked up the hamper and disappeared
2OO The Celebrity
into the place of retention, while the Celebrity
threw the bottle into the brush. And just then
(may I be forgiven if I am imaginative !) I heard
a human laugh come from that direction. In
the casting of that bottle the Celebrity had
given vent to some of the feelings he had been
collecting overnight, and it must have carried
about thirty yards. I dived after it like a re
triever puppy for a stone ; but the bottle was
gone ! Perhaps I could say more, but it doesn't
do to believe in yourself too thoroughly when
you get up early. I had nothing to say when I
"You here, Crocker?" said the author, fix
ing his eye on me. "Deuced kind of you to
get up so early and carry a basket so far for
"It has been a real pleasure, I assure you,"
I protested. And it had.
There was a silent space while the two young
ladies regarded him, softened by his haggard
and dishevelled aspect, and perplexed by his
attitude. Nothing, I believe, appeals to a
woman so much as this very lack of bodily
care. And the rogue knew it !
" How long is this little game of yours to con-
The Celebrity 201
tinue, this bull-baiting ? " he inquired. " How
long am I to be made a butt of for the amuse
ment of a lot of imbeciles ? "
Miss Thorn crossed over and seated herself
on the ground beside him.
" You must be sensible," she said, in a tone
that she might have used to a spoiled child.
" I know it is difficult after the night you have
had. But you have always been willing to
listen to reason."
A pang of something went through me when
I saw them together.
" Reason," said the Celebrity, raising his head.
" Reason, yes. But where is the reason in all
this ? Because a man who happens to be my
double commits a crime, is it right that I, whose
reputation is without a mark, should be made to
suffer ? And why have I been made a fool of
by two people whom I had every cause to sup
pose my friends ? "
"You will have to ask them," replied Miss
Thorn, with a glance at us. "They are mis
chief-makers, I'll admit ; but they are not mali
cious. See what they have done this morning !
And how could they have foreseen that a de
tective was on his way to the island ? "
2O2 The Celebrity
"Crocker might have known it," said he,
melting. " He's so cursed smart ! "
"And think," Miss Thorn continued, quick
to follow up an advantage, " think what would
have happened if they hadn't denied you. This
horrid man would have gone off with you to
Asquith or somewhere else, with handcuffs on
your wrists ; for it isn't a detective's place to
take evidence, Mr. Crocker says. Perhaps we
should all have had to go to Epsom ! And
I couldn't bear to see you in handcuffs, you
" Don't you think we had better leave them
alone ? " I said to Miss Trevor.
She smiled and shook her head.
"You are blind as a bat, Mr. Crocker," she
The Celebrity had weighed Miss Thorn's
words and was listening passively now while
she talked. There may be talents which she
did not possess ; I will not pretend to say. But
I know there are many professions she might
have chosen had she not been a woman: She
would have made a name for herself at the bar ;
as a public speaker she would have excelled.
And had I not been so long accustomed to
The Celebrity 203
picking holes in arguments I am sure I should
not have perceived the fallacies of this she was
making for the benefit of the Celebrity. He
surely did not. It is strange how a man can
turn under such influence from one feeling to
another. The Celebrity lost his resentment ;
apprehension took its place. He became more
and more nervous ; questioned me from time to
time on the law ; wished to know whether he
would be called upon for testimony at Allen's
trial ; whether there was any penalty attached
to the taking of another man's name ; precisely
what Drew would do with him if captured ; and
the tail of his eye was on the thicket as he made
this inquiry. It may be surmised that I took
an exquisite delight in quenching this new-born
thirst for knowledge. And finally we all went
into the cave.
Miss Thorn unpacked the things we had
brought, while I surveyed the cavern. It was
in the solid rock, some ten feet high and irregu
lar in shape, and perfectly dry. It was a mar
vel to me how cosy she made it. One of the
Marias lanterns was placed in a niche, and the
Celebrity's silver toilet-set laid out on a ledge
of the rock, which answered perfectly for a
2O4 The Celebrity
dressing-table. Miss Thorn had not forgotten
a small mirror. And as a last office, set a dainty
breakfast on a linen napkin on the rock, heating
the coffee in a chafing-dish.
" There ! " she exclaimed, surveying her labors,
"I hope you will be more comfortable."
He had already taken the precaution to brush
his hair and pull himself together. His thanks,
such as they were, he gave to Miss Thorn. It is
true that she had done more than any one else.
"Good-bye, old boy!" said the Fraction.
"We'll come back when we get the chance,
and don't let that hundred thousand keep you
The Fraction and I covered up the mouth of
the cave with brush. He became confidential.
" Lucky dog, Allen ! " he said. " They'll never
get him away from Cooke. And he can have
any girl he wants for the asking. By George!
I believe Miss Thorn will elope with him if he
ever reaches Canada."
I only mention this as a sample of the Frac
tion's point of view. I confess the remark an
noyed me at the time.
Miss Thorn lingered in the cave for a minute
after Miss Trevor came out. Then we retraced
The Celebrity 205
our way down the brook, which was dancing
now in the sunlight. Miss Trevor stopped now
and then to rest, in reality to laugh. I do not
know what the Fraction thought of such heart
less conduct. He and I were constantly on the
alert for Mr. Drew, but we sighted the camp
without having encountered him. It was half-
past six, and we had trusted to slip in unnoticed
by any one. But, as we emerged from the
trees, the bustling scene which greeted our
eyes filled us with astonishment. Two of the
tents were down, and the third in a collapsed
condition, while confusion reigned supreme.
And in the midst of it all stood Mr. Cooke,
an animated central figure pedestalled on a
stump, giving emphatic directions in a voice
of authority. He spied us from his elevated
position before we had crossed the brook.
" Here they come, Maria," he shouted.
We climbed to the top of the slope, and
were there confronted by Mrs. Cooke and Mr.
Trevor, with Mr. Cooke close behind them.
" Where the devil is Allen ? " my client de
manded excitedly of the Fraction.
" Allen ? " repeated that gentleman, " why,
we made him comfortable and left him, of
206 The Celebrity
course. We had sense enough not to bring
him here to be pulled."
" But, you damfool," cried Mr. Cooke, slightly
forgetting himself, " Drew has escaped."
" Escaped ? "
" Yes, escaped," said Mr. Cooke, as though
our conductor were personally responsible ; " he
got away this morning. Before we know it,
we'll have the whole police force of Far Harbor
out here to jug the lot of us."
The Fraction, being deficient for the moment
in language proper to express his appreciation of
this new development, simply volunteered to re
turn for the Celebrity, and left in a great hurry.
" Irene," said Mr. Trevor, " can it be possi
ble that you have stolen away for the express
purpose of visiting this criminal ? "
"If he is a criminal, father, it is no reason
that he should starve."
" It is no reason," cried her father, hotly,
"why a young girl who has been brought up
as you have, should throw every lady-like in
stinct to the winds. There are men enough
in this camp to keep him from starving. I
will not have my daughter's name connected
with that of a defaulter. Irene, you have set
The Celebrity 207
the seal of disgrace upon a name which I have
labored for a lifetime to make one of the proud
est in the land. And it was my fond hope that
I possessed a daughter who "
During this speech my anger had been
steadily rising. But it was Mrs. Cooke who
" Mr. Trevor," said she, " perhaps you are
not aware that while you are insulting your
daughter, you are also insulting my niece. It
may be well for you to know that Miss Trevor
still has my respect as a woman and my admira
tion as a lady. And, since she has been so
misjudged by her father, she has my deepest
sympathy. But I wish to beg of you, if you
have anything of this nature to say to her, you
will take her feelings into consideration as well
Miss Trevor gave her one expressive look of
gratitude. The senator was effectually silenced.
He had come, by some inexplicable inference,
to believe that Mrs. Cooke, while subservient
to the despotic will of her husband, had been
miraculously saved from depravity, and had set
her face against this last monumental act of
I AM convinced that Mr. Cooke possessed at
least some of the qualities of a great general.
In certain campaigns of past centuries, and
even of this, it has been hero-worship that im
pelled the rank and file rather than any high
sympathy with the cause they were striving
for. And so it was with us that morning.
Our commander was everywhere at once, en
couraging us to work, and holding over us in
impressive language the awful alternative of
capture. For he had the art, in a high degree,
of inoculating his followers with the spirit which
animated him ; and shortly, to my great sur
prise, I found myself working as though my
life depended on it. I certainly did not care
very much whether the Celebrity was captured
or not, and yet, with the prospect of getting
him over the border, I had not thought of
breakfast. Farrar had a natural inclination for
work of this sort, but even he was infused
somewhat with the contagious haste and en-
The Celebrity 209
thusiasm which filled the air ; and together we
folded the tents with astonishing despatch and
rowed them out to the Maria, Mr. Cooke hav
ing gone to his knees in the water to shove the
"What are we doing this for?" said Farrar
to me, as we hoisted the sail.
We both laughed.
"I have just been asking myself that ques
tion," I replied.
"You are a nice district attorney, Crocker,"
he said. " You have made a most proper and
equitable decision in giving your consent to
Allen's escape. Doesn't your conscience smart ? "
" Not unbearably. I'll tell you what, Farrar,"
said I, " the truth is, that this fellow never em
bezzled so much as a ten-cent piece. He isn't
guilty : he isn't the man."
" Isn't the man ? " repeated Farrar.
"No," I answered; "it's a long tale, and no
time to tell it now. But he is really, as he
claims to be, the author of all those detestable
books we have been hearing so much of."
" The deuce he is ! " exclaimed Farrar, drop
ping the stopper he was tying. " Did he write
The Sybarites ? "
2io The Celebrity
"Yes, sir; he wrote The Sybarites, and all
the rest of that trash."
" He's the fellow that maintains a man ought
to marry a girl after he has become engaged to
" Exactly," I said, smiling at his way of put
"Preaches constancy to all men, but doesn't
object to stealing."
" You're badly mixed," I explained. " I told
you he never stole anything. He was only ass
enough to take the man's name who is the
living image of him. And the other man took
"Oh, come now," said he, "tell me some
thing improbable while you are about it."
" It's true," I replied, repressing my mirth ;
"true as the tale of Timothy. I knew him
when he was a mere boy. But I don't give you
that as a proof, for he might have become all
things to all men since. Ask Miss Trevor ; or
Miss Thorn ; she knows the other man, the
bicycle man, and has seen them both together."
" Where, in India ? Was one standing on
the ground looking at his double go to heaven ?
The Celebrity 211
Or was it at one of those drawing-room shows
where a medium holds conversation with your
soul, while your body sleeps on the lounge ?
By George, Crocker, I thought you were a
No wonder I got angry. But I might have
come at some proper estimation of Farrar's
incredulity by that time.
" I suppose you wouldn't take a lady's word,"
" Not for that," he said, busy again with the
sail stops ; " nor St. Chrysostom's, were he to
come here and vouch for it. It is too damned
" Stranger things than that have happened,"
I retorted, fuming.
"Not to any of us," he said. Presently he
added, chuckling : " He'd better not get into
the clutches of that man Drew."
"What do you mean ? " I demanded. Farrar
was exasperating at times.
" Drew will wind those handcuffs on him like
tourniquets," he laughed.
There seemed to be something behind this
remark, but before I could inquire into it we
were interrupted by Mr. Cooke, who was stand-
212 The Celebrity
ing on the beach, swearing and gesticulating for
" I trust," said Farrar, as we rowed ashore,
"that this blind excitement will continue, and
that we shall have the extreme pleasure of set
ting down our friend in Her Majesty's domin
ions with a yachting-suit and a ham sandwich."
We sat down to a hasty breakfast, in the
middle of which the Celebrity arrived. His
appearance was unexceptionable, but his heavy
jaw was set in a manner which should have
warned Mr. Cooke not to trifle with him.
"Sit down, old man, and take a bite before
we start for Canada," said my client.
The Celebrity walked up to him.
" Mr. Cooke," he began in a menacing tone,
"it is high time this nonsense was ended. I
am tired of being made a buffoon of for your
party. For your gratification I have spent a
sleepless night in those cold, damp woods ; and
I warn you that practical joking can be carried
too far. I will not go to Canada, and I insist
that you sail me back to Asquith."
Mr. Cooke winked significantly in our direc
tion and tapped his head.
"I don't wonder you're a little upset, old
The Celebrity 213
man," he said, humoringly patting him; "but
sit down for a bite of something, and you'll see
" I've had my breakfast," he said, taking out
Then Mr. Trevor got up.
"He demands, sir, to be delivered over to
the authorities," said he, "and you have no
right to refuse him. I protest strongly."
" And you can protest all you damn please,"
retorted my client ; " this isn't the Ohio State
Senate. Do you know where I would put you,
Mr. Trevor ? Do you know where you ought
to be ? In a hen-coop, sir, if I had one here. In
a hen-coop. What would you do if a man who
had gone a little out of his mind asked you for
a gun to shoot himself with ? Give it him, I
suppose. But I put Mr. Allen ashore in
Canada, with the funds to get off with, and
then my duty's done."
This speech, as Mr. Cooke had no doubt con
fidently hoped, threw the senator into a frenzy
"The day will come, sir," he shouted, shak
ing his fist at my client, "the day will come
when you will rue this bitterly."
214 The Celebrity
" Don't get off any of your oratorical frills on
me," replied Mr. Cooke, contemptuously; "you
ought to be tied and muzzled."
Mr. Trevor was white with anger.
" I, for one, will not go to Canada," he cried.
"You'll stay here and starve, then," said Mr.
Cooke; "damned little I care."
Mr. Trevor turned to Farrar, who was biting
" Mr. Farrar, I know you to be a rising young
man of sound principles, and Mr. Crocker like
wise. You are the only ones who can sail.
Have you reflected that you are about to ruin
your careers ? "
"We are prepared to take the chances, I
think," said Farrar.
Mr. Cooke looked us over, proudly and grate
fully, as much as to say that while he lived we
should not lack the necessities of life.
At nine we embarked, the Celebrity and Mr.
Trevor for the same reason that the animals
took to the ark, because they had to. There
was a spanking breeze in the west-northwest,
and a clear sky, a day of days for a sail. Mr.
Cooke produced a map, which Farrar and I con
sulted, and without much trouble we hit upon a
The Celebrity 215
quiet place to land on the Canadian side. Our
course was north-northwest, and therefore the
wind enabled us to hold it without much trouble.
Bear Island is situated some eighteen miles from
shore, and about equidistant between Asquith
and Far Harbor, which latter we had to pass
on our way northward.
Although a brisk sea was on, the wind had
been steady from that quarter all night, and the
motion was uniform. The Maria was an excel
lent sea-boat. There was no indication, there
fore, of the return of that malady which had
been so prevalent on the passage to Bear Island.
Mr. Cooke had never felt better, and looked
every inch a sea-captain in his natty yachting-
suit. He had acquired a tan on the island ;
and, as is eminently proper on a boat, he
affected nautical manners and nautical ways.
But his vernacular savored so hopelessly of the
track and stall that he had been able to acquire
no mastery over the art of marine invective.
And he possessed not so much as one maritime
oath. As soon as we had swung clear of the
cove he made for the weather stays, where he
assumed a posture not unlike that in the famous
picture of Farragut ascending Mobile Bay. His
216 The Celebrity
leather case was swung over his shoulder, and
with his glasses he swept the lake in search of
the Scimitar and other vessels of a like unami-
Although my client could have told you, off
hand, Jackstraw's last mile in a bicycle sulky, his
notion of the Scimitars speed was as vague as
his knowledge of seamanship. And when I
informed him that in all probability she had
already passed the light on Far Harbor reef,
some nine miles this side of the Far Harbor
police station, he went into an inordinate state
of excitement. Mr. Cooke was, indeed, that day
the embodiment of an unselfish if misdirected
zeal. He was following the dictates of both
heart and conscience in his endeavor to rescue
his guest from the law ; and true zeal is inva
riably contagious. What but such could have
commanded the unremitting labors of that morn
ing ? Farrar himself had done three men's work
before breakfast, and it was, in great part, owing
to him that we were now leaving the island be
hind us. He was sailing the Maria that day as
she will never be sailed again : her lee gunwale
awash, and a wake like a surveyor's line behind
her. More than once I called to mind his face-
The Celebrity 217
tious observation about Mr. Drew, and won
dered if he knew more than he had said about
Once in the open, the Maria showed but small
consideration for her passengers, for she went
through the seas rather than over them. And
Mr. Cooke, manfully keeping his station on the
weather bow, likewise went through the seas.
No argument could induce him to leave the
post he had thus heroically chosen, which was
one of honor rather than utility, for the lake
was as vacant of sails as the day that Father
Marquette (or some one else) first beheld it.
Under such circumstances ease must be con
sidered as only a relative term ; and the ac
commodations of the Maria afforded but two
comfortable spots, the cabin, and the lea aft
of the cabin bulkhead. This being the case,
the somewhat peculiar internal relations of the
party decided its grouping.
I know of no worse place than a small yacht,
or than a large one for that matter, for uncon
genial people. The Four betook themselves to
the cabin, which was fortunately large, and
made life bearable with a game of cards ; while
Mrs. Cooke, whose adaptability and sense I had
218 The Celebrity
come greatly to admire, contented herself with
a corner and a book. The ungrateful cause of
the expedition himself occupied another corner.
I caught sight of him through the cabin sky
light, and the silver pencil he was holding over
his note-book showed unmistakable marks of
Outside, Mr. Trevor, his face wearing an im
mutable expression of defiance for the wicked
ness surrounding him, had placed his daughter
for safe-keeping between himself and the only
other reliable character on board, the refrig
erator. But Miss Thorn appeared in a blue
mackintosh and a pair of heavy yachting-boots,
courting rather than avoiding a drenching.
Even a mackintosh is becoming to some
women. All morning she sat behind Mr.
Cooke, on the rise of the cabin, her back
against the mast and her hair flying in the
wind, and I, for one, was not sorry the Celeb
rity had given us this excuse for a sail.
ABOUT half-past eleven Mr. Cooke's vigilance
was rewarded by a glimpse of the lighthouse on
Far Harbor reef, and almost simultaneously he
picked up, to the westward, the ragged outline
of the house-tops and spires of the town itself.
But as we neared the reef the harbor appeared
as quiet as a Sunday morning : a few Mackinaws
were sailing hither and thither, and the Far
Harbor and Beaverton boat was coming out.
My client, in view of the peaceful aspect affairs
had assumed, presently consented to relinquish
his post, and handed the glasses over to me
with an injunction to be watchful.
I promised. And Mr. Cooke, feeling his way
aft with more discretion than grace, finally de
scended into the cabin, where he was noisily
received. And I was left with Miss Thorn.
While my client had been there in front of us,
his lively conversation and na'fve if profane re
marks kept us in continual laughter. When
with him it was utterly impossible to see any
22O The Celebrity
other than the ludicrous side of this madcap
adventure, albeit he himself was so keenly in
earnest as to its performance. It was with mis
giving that I saw him disappear into the hatch
way, and my impulse was to follow him. Our
spirits, like those in a thermometer, are never
stationary : mine were continually being sent up
or down. The night before, when I had sat
with Miss Thorn beside the fire, they went up ;
this morning her anxious solicitude for the Ce
lebrity had sent them down again. She both
puzzled and vexed me. I could not desert my
post as lookout, and I remained in somewhat
awkward suspense as to what she was going
to say, gazing at distant objects through the
glasses. Her remark, when it came, took me
"I am afraid," she said seriously, "that Uncle
Fenelon's principles are not all that they should
be. His morality is something like his tobacco,
which doesn't injure him particularly, but is
dangerous to others."
I was more than willing to meet her on tho
neutral ground of Uncle Fenelon.
" Do you think his principles contagious ? " I
The Celebrity 221
"They have not met with the opposition they
deserve," she replied. " Uncle Fenelon's ideas
of life are not those of other men, yours, for
instance. And his affairs, mental and material,
are, happily for him, such that he can generally
carry out his notions with small inconvenience.
He is no doubt convinced that he is acting gen
erously in attempting to rescue the Celebrity
from a term in prison ; what he does not realize
is that he is acting ungenerously to other guests
who have infinitely more at stake."
" But our friend from Ohio has done his best
to impress this upon him," I replied, failing to
perceive her drift ; " and if his words are wasted,
surely the thing is hopeless."
"I am not joking," said she. "I was not
thinking of Mr. Trevor, but of you. I like you,
Mr. Crocker. You may not believe it, but I do."
For the life of me I could think of no fitting
reply to this declaration. Why was that abomi
nable word " like " ever put into the English
"Yes, I like you," she continued medita
tively, " in the face of the fact that you persist
in disliking me."
" Nothing of the kind."
222 The Celebrity
" Oh, I know. You mustn't think me so
stupid as all that. It is a mortifying truth that
I like you, and that you have no use for me."
I have never known how to take a jest from
a woman. I suppose I should have laughed this
off. Instead, I made a fool of myself.
"I shall be as frank with you," I said, "and
declare that I like you, though I should be much
happier if I didn't."
She blushed at this, if I am not mistaken.
Perhaps it was unlooked for.
" At any rate," she went on, " I should deem
it my duty to warn you of the consequences of
this joke of yours. They may not be all that
you have anticipated. The consequences for
you, I mean, which you do not seem to have
taken into account."
" Consequences for me ! " I exclaimed.
" I fear that you will think what I am going
to say uncalled for, and that I am meddling with
something that does not concern me. But it
seems to me that you are undervaluing the thing
you have worked so hard to attain. They say
that you have ability, that you have acquired a
practice and a position which at your age give
the highest promise for the future. That you
The Celebrity 223
are to be counsel for the railroad. In short, that
you are the coming man in this section of the
state. I have found this out," said she, cutting
short my objections, "in spite of the short time
I have been here."
" Nonsense ! " I said, reddening in my turn.
" Suppose that the Celebrity is captured," she
continued, thrusting her hands into the pockets
of her mackintosh. "It appears that he is
shadowed, and it is not unreasonable to expect
that we shall be chased before the day is over.
Then we shall be caught red-handed in an
attempt to get a criminal over the border.
Please wait until I have finished," she said,
holding up her hand at an interruption I was
about to make. "You and I know he is not
a criminal ; but he might as well be as far as
you are concerned. As district attorney you
are doubtless known to the local authorities.
If the Celebrity is arrested after a long pursuit,
it will avail you nothing to affirm that you knew
all along he was the noted writer. You will
pardon me if I say that they will not believe
you then. He will be taken East for identifica
tion. And if I know anything about politics,
and especially the state of affairs in local poli-
224 The Celebrity
tics with which you are concerned, the incident
and the interval following it will be fatal to your
chances with the railroad, to your chances in
general. You perceive, Mr. Crocker, how im
possible it is to play with fire without being
I did perceive. At the time the amazing
thoroughness with which she had gone into
the subject of my own unimportant affairs, the
astuteness and knowledge of the world she had
shown, and the clearness with which she had
put the situation, did not strike me. Nothing
struck me but the alarming sense of my own
stupidity, which was as keen as I have ever felt
it. What man in a public position, however
humble, has not political enemies ? The image
of O'Meara was wafted suddenly before me,
disagreeably near, and his face wore the smile
of victory. All of Mr. Cooke's money could
not save me. My spirits sank as the immedi
ate future unfolded itself, and I even read the
article in O'Meara's organ, the Northern Lights,
which was to be instrumental in divesting me
of my public trust and fair fame generally.
Yes, if the Celebrity was caught on the other
side of Far Harbor, all would be up with John
The Celebrity 22$
Crocker! But it would never do to let Miss
Thorn discover my discomfiture.
"There is something in what you say," I
replied, with what bravado I could muster.
"A little, I think," she returned, smiling;
"now, what I wish you to do is to make
Uncle Fenelon put into Far Harbor. If he
refuses, you can go in in spite of him, since
you and Mr. Farrar are the only ones who
can sail. You have the situation in your own
There was certainly wisdom in this, also.
But the die was cast now, and pride alone was
sufficient to hold me to the course I had rashly
begun upon. Pride ! What an awkward thing
it is, and more difficult for most of us to swal
low than a sponge.
" I thank you for this interest in my welfare,
Miss Thorn," I began.
"No fine speeches, please, sir," she cut in,
"but do as I advise."
"I fear I cannot."
" Why do you say that ? The thing is sim
" I should lose my self-respect as a practical
joker. And besides," I said maliciously, " I
226 The Celebrity
started out to have some fun with the Celebrity^
and I want to have it."
"Well," she replied, rather coolly, "of course
you can do as you choose."
We were passing within a hundred yards of
the lighthouse, set cheerlessly on the bald and
sandy tip of the point. An icy silence sat
between us, and such a silence is invariably
insinuating. This one suggested a horrible
thought. What if Miss Thorn had warned
me in order to save the Celebrity from humil
iation ? I thrust it aside, but it returned again
and grinned. Had she not practised insincerity
before ? And any one with half an eye could
see that she was in love with the Celebrity ;
even the Fraction had remarked it. What
more natural than, with her cleverness, she
had hit upon this means of terminating the
author's troubles by working upon my fears?
Human weakness often proves too much for
those of us who have the very best intentions.
Up to now the refrigerator and Mr. Trevor had
kept the strictest and most jealous of vigils
over Irene. But at length the senator suc
cumbed to the drowsiness which never failed to
attack him at this hour, and he forgot the dis-
The Celebrity 227
repute of his surroundings in a respectable
sleep. Whereupon his daughter joined us on
" I knew that would happen to papa if I only
waited long enough," she said. " Oh, he thinks
you're dreadful, Mr. Crocker. He says that
nowadays young men haven't any principle. I
mustn't be seen talking to you."
" I have been trying to convince Mr. Crocker
that his stand in the matter is not only im
moral, but suicidal," said Miss Thorn. "Per
haps," she added meaningly, "he will listen to
" I don't understand," answered Miss Trevor.
" Miss Thorn has been good enough to point
out," I explained, "that the political machine in
this section, which has the honor to detest me,
will seize upon the pretext of the Celebrity's
capture to ruin me. They will take the will
for the deed."
"Of course they will do just that," cried
Miss Trevor. " How bright of you to think of
it, Marian ! "
Miss Thorn stood up.
" I leave you to persuade him," said she ; " I
have no doubt you will be able to do it."
228 The Celebrity
With that she left us, quite suddenly. Ab
ruptly, I thought. And her manner seemed to
impress Miss Trevor.
" I wonder what is the matter with Marian,"
said she, and leaned over the skylight. "Why,
she has gone down to talk with the Celebrity."
"Isn't that rather natural?" I asked with
'She turned to me with an amused expression.
"Her conduct seems to worry you vastly,
Mr. Crocker. I noticed that you were quite
upset this morning in the cave. Why was it ? "
"You must have imagined it," I said stiffly.
"I should like to know," she said, with the
air of one trying to solve a knotty problem, " I
should like to know how many men are as blind
"You are quite beyond me, Miss Trevor,"
I answered; "may I request you to put that
remark in other words?"
" I protest that you are a most unsatisfactory
person," she went on, not heeding my annoy
ance. "Most abnormally modest people are.
If I were to stick you with this hat-pin, for
instance, you would accept the matter as a
The Celebrity 229
'' I certainly should," I said, laughing ; " and,
besides, it would be painful."
"There you are," said she, exultingly; "I
knew it. But I flatter myself there are men
who would go into an ecstasy of delight if I
ran a hat-pin into them. I am merely taking
this as an illustration of my point."
" It is a very fine point," said I. " But some
people take pleasure in odd things. I can easily
conceive of a man gallant enough to suffer the
agony for the sake of pleasing a pretty girl."
" I told you so," she pouted ; " you have
missed it entirely. You are hopelessly blind
on that side, and numb. Perhaps you didn't
know that you have had a hat-pin sticking in
you for some time."
I began feeling myself, nervously.
"For more than a month," she cried, "and
to think that you have never felt it." My
action was too much for her gravity, and she
fell back against the skylight in a fit of merri
ment, which threatened to wake her iather.
And I hoped it would.
"It pleases you to speak in parables this
morning," I said.
" Mr. Crocker," she began again, when she
230 The Celebrity
had regained her speech, "shall I tell you of a
great misfortune which might happen to a girl?"
"I should be pleased to hear it," I replied
"That misfortune, then, would be to fall in
love with you."
" Happily that is not within the limits of
probability," I answered, beginning to be a
little amused. " But why ? "
"Lightning often strikes where it is least
expected," she replied archly. " Listen. If a
young woman were unlucky enough to lose her
heart to you, she might do everything but tell
you, and you would never know it. I scarcely
believe you would know it if she did tell you."
I must have jumped unconsciously.
"Oh, you needn't think I am in love with
" Not for a minute," I made haste to say.
She pointed towards the timber-covered hills
beyond the shore.
" Do you see that stream which comes foaming
down the notch into the lake in front of us ? "
she asked. " Let us suppose that you lived
in a cabin beside that brook ; and that once in
a while, when you went out to draw your water,
The Celebrity 231
you saw a nugget of gold washing along with
the pebbles on the bed. How many days do
you think you would be in coming to the con
clusion that there was a pocket of gold some
where above you, and in starting in search
of it ? "
" Not long, surely."
" Ah, you are not lacking in perception there.
But if / were to tell you that I knew of the
existence of such a mine, from various proofs I
have had, and that the mine was in the posses
sion of a certain person who was quite willing
to share it with you on application, you would
not believe me."
" Probably not."
" Well," said Miss Trevor, with a nod of final
ity, " I was actually about to make such a dis
closure. But I see it would be useless."
I confess she aroused my curiosity. No
coaxing, however, would induce her to interpret.
"No," she insisted strangely, "if you cannot
put two and two together, I fear I cannot help
you. And no one I ever heard of has come to
any good by meddling."
Miss Trevor folded her hands across her lap.
She wore that air which I am led to believe is
232 The Celebrity
common to all women who have something of
importance to disclose ; or at least what they
consider is of importance. There was an ele
ment of pity, too, in her expression. For she
had given me my chance, and my wits had been
Do not let it be surmised that I attach any
great value to such banter as she had been in
dulging in. At the same time, however, I had
an uneasy feeling that I had missed something
which might have been to my advantage. It
was in vain that I whipped my dull senses ; but
one conclusion was indicated by all this infer
ence, and I don't care even to mention that : it
Then Miss Trevor shifted to a very serious
mood. She honestly did her best to persuade
me to relinquish our enterprise, to go to Mr.
Cooke and confess the whole thing.
" I wish we had washed our hands of this
Celebrity from the first," she said, with a sigh.
"How dreadful if you lose your position on
account of this foolishness ! "
" But I shan't," I answered reassuringly ;
" we are getting near the border now, and no
sign of trouble. And besides/' I added, " I
The Celebrity 233
think Miss Thorn tried to frighten me. And
she very nearly succeeded. It was prettily
" Of course she tried to frighten you. I wish
she had succeeded."
"But her object was transparent."
"Her object!" she exclaimed. "Her object
was to save you."
" I think not," I replied ; " it was to save the
Miss Trevor rose and grasped one of the sail
rings to keep her balance. She looked at me
" Do you really believe that ? "
"Then you are hopeless, Mr. Crocker, totally
hopeless. I give you up."
And she went back to her seat beside the
" CROCKER, old man, Crocker, what the devil
does that mean ? "
I turned with a start to perceive a bare head
thrust above the cabin roof, the scant hair flying,
and two large, brown eyes staring into mine
full of alarm and reproach. A plump finger
was pointing to where the sandy reef lay far
astern of us.
The Mackinaws were flecked far and wide
over the lake, and a dirty smudge on the blue
showed where the Far Harbor and Beaverton
boat had gone over the horizon. But there,
over trie point and dangerously close to the
land, hung another smudge, gradually pushing
its way like a writhing, black serpent, lakewards.
Thus I was rudely jerked back to face the
problem with which we had left the island that
I snatched the neglected glasses from the
deck and hurried aft to join my client on the
overhang, but a pipe was all they revealed above
The Celebrity 235
the bleak hillocks of sand. My client turned
to me with a face that was white under the tan.
" Crocker," he cried, in a tragic voice, " it's a
blessed police boat, or I never picked a winner."
" Nonsense," I said ; " other boats smoke be
side police boats. The lake is full of tugs."
I was a little nettled at having been scared
for a molehill.
" But I know it, sure as hell," he insisted.
"You know nothing about it, and won't for
an hour. What's a pipe and a trail of smoke ? "
He laid a hand on my shoulder, and I felt it
"Why do you suppose I came out ? " he
" You were probably losing," I said.
" I was winning."
"Then you got tired of winning."
But he held up a thumb within a few inches
of my face, and with it a ring I had often noticed,
a huge opal which he customarily wore on the
inside of his hand.
" She's dead," said Mr. Cooke, sadly.
"Dead?" I repeated, perplexed.
"Yes, she's dead as the day I lost the two
thousand at Sheepshead. She's never gone
236 The Celebrity
back on me yet. And unless I can make some
little arrangement with those fellows," he added,
tossing his head at the smoke, " you and I will
put up to-night in some barn of a jail. I've
never been in jail but once," said Mr. Cooke,
" and it isn't so damned pleasant, I assure
I saw that he believed every word of it ; in
fact, that it was his religion. I might as well
have tried to argue the Sultan out of Moham
The pipe belonged to a tug, that was certain.
Farrar said so after a look over his shoulder,
disdaining glasses, and he knew the lake better
than many who made their living by it. It was
then that I made note of a curious anomaly in
the betting character; for thus far Mr. Cooke,
like a great many of his friends, was a skeptic.
He never ceased to hope until the stake had
found its way into the other man's pocket.
And it was for hope that he now applied to
Farrar. But even Farrar did not attempt to
account for the tug's appearance that near the
"She's in some detestable hurry to get up
this way, that's flat," he said; "where she is,
The Celebrity 237
the channel out of the harbor is not forty feet
By this time the rest of the party were gath
ered behind us on the high side of the boat, in
different stages of excitement, scrutinizing the
smoke. Mr. Cooke had the glasses glued to
his eyes again, his feet braced apart, and every
line of his body bespeaking the tension of his
mind. I imagined him standing thus, the stump
of his cigar tightly clutched between his teeth,
following the fortunes of some favorite on the
far side of the Belmont track.
We waited without comment while the smoke
crept by degrees towards the little white spindle
on the tip of the point, now and again catching
a gleam of the sun's rays from off the glass of
the lantern. And presently, against the white
lather of the lake, I thought I caught sight of a
black nose pushed out beyond the land. An
other moment, and the tug itself was bobbing
in the open. Barely had she reached the deep
water beyond the sands when her length began
to shorten, and the dense cloud of smoke that
rose made it plain that she was firing. At the
sight I reflected that I had been a fool indeed.
A scant five miles of water lay between us and
238 The Celebrity
her, and if they really meant business back
there, and they gave every sign of it, we had
about an hour and a half to get rid of the Celeb
rity. The Maria was a good boat, but she had
not been built to try conclusions with a Far
My client, in spite of the ominous condition
of his opal, was not slow to make his intentions
exceedingly clear. For Mr. Cooke was first
and last, and always, a gentleman. After that
you might call him anything you pleased.
Meditatively he screwed up his glasses and
buckled them into the case, and then he de
scended to the cockpit. It was the Celebrity
he singled out of the party.
"Allen," said he, when he stood before him,
" I want to impress on you that my word's gold.
I've stuck to you thus far, and I'll be damned
now if I throw you over, like they did Jonah."
Mr. Cooke spoke with a fine dignity that in
itself was impressive, and when he had finished
he looked about him until his eye rested on Mr.
Trevor, as though opposition were to come from
that quarter. And the senator gave every sign
of another eruption. But the Celebrity, either
from lack of appreciation of my client's loyalty,
The Celebrity 239
or because of the nervousness which was begin
ning to show itself in his demeanor, despite an
effort to hide it, returned no answer. He turned
on his heel and resumed his seat in the cabin.
Mr. Cooke was visibly affected.
" I'd sooner lose my whip hand than go back
on him now," he declared.
Then Vesuvius began to rumble.
"Mr. Cooke," said the senator, "may I suggest
something which seems pertinent to me, though
it does not appear to have occurred to you ? "
His tone was the calm one that the heroes
used in the Celebrity's novels when they were
about to drop on and annihilate wicked men.
"Certainly, sir," my client replied briskly,
bringing himself up on his way back to the
"You have announced your intention of
'standing by' Mr. Allen, as you express it.
Have you reflected that there are some others
who deserve to be consulted and considered
beside Mr. Allen and yourself ? "
Mr. Cooke was puzzled at this change of
front, and unused, moreover, to the veiled
irony of parliamentary expression.
"Talk English, my friend," said he.
240 The Celebrity
" In plain words, sir, Mr. Allen is a criminal
who ought to be locked up ; he is a menace to
society. You, who have a reputation, I am
given to understand, for driving four horses,
have nothing to lose by a scandal, while I have
worked all my life for the little I have achieved,
and have a daughter to think about. I will
neither stand by Mr. Allen nor by you."
Mr. Cooke was ready with a retort when the
true significance of this struck him. Things
were a trifle different now. The tables had
turned since leaving the island, and the senator
held it in his power to ruin our one remaining
chance of escape. Strangely enough, he missed
the cause of Mr. Cooke's hesitation.
" Look here, old man," said my client, biting
off another cigar, "I'm a first-rate fellow when
you get to know me, and I'd do the same for
you as I'm doing for Allen."
" I daresay, sir, I daresay," said the other, a
trifle mollified ; " I don't claim that you're not
acting as you think right."
"I see it," said Mr. Cooke, with admirable
humility ; " I see it. I was wrong to haul you
into this, Trevor. And the only thing to con
sider now is, how to get you out of it."
The Celebrity 241
Here he appeared for a moment to be wrapped
in deep thought, and checked with his cigar an
attempt to interrupt him.
" However you put it, old man," he said at
last, "we're all in a pretty bad hole."
" All ! " cried Mr. Trevor, indignantly.
" Yes, all," asserted Mr. Cooke, with compos
ure. "There are the police, and here is Allen
as good as run down. If they find him when
they get abroad, you don't suppose they'll swal
low anything you have to say about trying to
deliver him over. No, sir, you'll be bagged and
fined along with the rest of us. And I'd be
damned sorry to see it, if I do say it ; and I
blame myself freely for it, old man. Now you
take my advice and keep your mouth shut, and
I'll take care of you. I've got a place for
During this somewhat remarkable speech Mr.
Trevor, as it were, blew hot and cold by turns.
Although its delivery was inconsiderate, its logic
was undeniable, and the senator sat down again
on the locker, and was silent. But I marked
that off and on his fingers would open and shut
Time alone would disclose what was to hap-
242 The Celebrity
pen to us ; in the- interval there was nothing to
do but wait. We had reached the stage where
anxiety begins to take the place of excitement,
and we shifted restlessly from spot to spot and
looked at the tug. She was ploughing along
after us, and to such good purpose that pres
ently I began to catch the white of the seas
along her bows, and the bright red with which
her pipe was tipped. Farrar alone seemed to
take but slight interest in her. More than once
I glanced at him as he stood under me, but his
eye was on the shuddering leach of the sail.
Then I leaned over.
" What do you think of it ? " I asked.
"I told you this morning Drew would have
handcuffs on him before night," he replied,
without raising his head.
"Hang your joking, Farrar; I know more
than you about it."
"Then what's the use of asking me?"
"Don't you see that I'm ruined if we're
caught ? " I demanded, a little warmly.
" No, I don't see it," he replied. " You don't
suppose I think you fool enough to risk this
comedy if the man were guilty, do you? I
don't believe all that rubbish about his being
The Celebrity 243
the criminal's double, either. That's something
the girls got up for your benefit."
I ignored this piece of brutality.
" But I'm ruined anyway."
I explained shortly what I thought our friend,
O'Meara, would do under the circumstances.
An inference sufficed Farrar.
"Why didn't you say something about this
before?" he asked gravely. "I would have
put into Far Harbor."
"Because I didn't think of it," I confessed.
Farrar pulled down the corners of his mouth
with trying not to smile.
"Miss Thorn is a woman of brains," he re
marked gently; "I respect her."
I wondered by what mysterious train of rea
soning he had arrived at this conclusion. He
said nothing for a while, but toyed with the
spokes of the wheel, keeping the wind in the
sail with undue nicety.
" I can't make them out," he said, all at once.
"Then you believe they're after us?"
" I changed the course a point or two, just to
244 The Celebrity
"And they changed theirs. Who could have
" Drew, of course," I said ; " who else ? "
" Drew doesn't know anything about Allen,"
said he ; " and, besides, he's no more of a detec
tive than I am."
" But Drew was told there was a criminal on
" Who told him ? "
I repeated the conversation between Drew
and Mr. Trevor which I had overheard. Farrar
" But you did not speak of that this morn
ing," said he.
"No," I replied, feeling anything but com
fortable. At times when he was facetious as
he had been this morning I was wont to lose
sight of the fact that with Farrar the manner
was not the man, and to forget the warmth of
his friendship. I was again to be reminded of
"Well, Crocker," he said briefly, "I would
willingly give up this year's state contract to
have known it."
IT was, accurately as I can remember, half
after noon when Mr. Cooke first caught the
smoke over the point, for the sun was very
high : at two our fate had been decided. I
have already tried to describe a part of what
took place in that hour and a half, although
even now I cannot get it all straight in my
mind. Races, when a great deal is at stake,
are more or less chaotic : a close four miles in
a college eight is a succession of blurs with
lucid but irrelevant intervals. The weary
months of hard work are forgotten, and you
are quite as apt to think of your first velocipede,
or of the pie that is awaiting you in the boat-
house, as of victory and defeat. And a yacht
race, with a pair of rivals on your beam, is very
much the same.
As I sat with my feet dangling over the wash
board, I reflected, once or twice, that we were
engaged in a race. All I had to do was to
246 The Celebrity
twist my head in order to make sure of it. I
also reflected, I believe, that I was in the posi
tion of a man who has bet all he owns, with
large odds on losing either way. But on the
whole I was occupied with more trivial matters :
a letter I had forgotten to write about a month's
rent, a client whose summer address I had mis
laid. The sun was burning my neck behind
when a whistle aroused me to the realization
that the tug was no longer a toy boat dancing
in the distance, but a stern fact but two miles
away. There could be no mistake now, for I
saw the white steam of the signal against the
I slid down and went into the cabin. The
Celebrity was in the corner by the companion-
way, with his head on the cushions and a book
in his hand. And forward, under the low deck
beams beyond the skylight, I beheld the crouch
ing figure of my client. He had stripped off
his coat and was busy at some task on the floor.
" They're whistling for us to stop," I said to
" How near are they, old man ? " he asked,
without looking up.
The perspiration was streaming down his
The Celebrity 247
face, and he held a brace and bit in his hand.
Under him was the trap-door which gave access
to the ballast below, and through this he had
bored a neat hole. The yellow chips were still
on his clothes.
"They're not two miles away," I answered.
" But what in mystery are you doing there ? "
But he only laid a finger beside his nose and
bestowed a wink in my direction. Then he
took some ashes from his cigar, wetted his
finger, and thus ingeniously removed all appear
ance of newness from the hole he had made,
carefully cleaning up the chips and putting
them in his pocket. Finally he concealed the
brace and bit and opened the trap, disclosing
the rough stones of the ballast. I watched him
in amazement as he tore a mattress from an
adjoining bunk and forced it through the open
ing, spreading it fore and aft over the stones.
" Now," he said, regaining his feet and sur
veying the whole with undisguised satisfaction,
"he'll be as safe there as in my new family
" But "I began, a light dawning upon me.
"Allen, old man," said Mr. Cooke, "come
248 The Celebrity
The Celebrity laid down his book and looked
up : my client was putting on his coat.
" Come here, old man," he repeated.
And he actually came. But he stopped when
he caught sight of the open trap and of the
mattress beneath it.
" How will that suit you ? " asked Mr. Cooke,
smiling broadly as he wiped his face with an
The Celebrity looked at the mattress, then
at me, and lastly at Mr. Cooke. His face was
" And you think I am going to get in there ? "
he said, his voice shaking.
My client fell back a step.
"Why not?" he demanded. "It's about
your size, comfortable, and all the air you
want" (here Mr. Cooke stuck his finger through
the bit hole). "Damn me, if I were in your
fix, I wouldn't stop at a kennel."
"Then you're cursed badly mistaken," said
the Celebrity, going back to his corner ; " I'm
tired of being made an ass of for you and your
" An ass ! " exclaimed my client, in proper
The Celebrity 249
" Yes, an ass," said the Celebrity. And he
resumed his book.
It would seem that a student of human nature,
such as every successful writer should be, might
by this time have arrived at some conception
of my client's character, simple as it was, and
have learned to overlook the slight peculiarity
in his mode of expressing himself. But here
the Celebrity fell short. If my client's emo
tions were not pitched in the same key as those
of other people, who shall say that his heart
was not as large or his sympathies as wide as
many another philanthropist ?
But Mr. Cooke was an optimist, and as such
disposed to look at the best side of his friends
and ignore the worst ; if, indeed, he perceived
their faults at all. It was plain to me, even
now, that he did not comprehend the Celebrity's
attitude. That his guest should reject the one
hope of escape left him was, according to Mr.
Cooke, only to be accounted for by a loss of
mental balance. Nevertheless, his disappoint
ment was keen. He let down the door and
slowly led the way out of the cabin. The
whistle sounded shrilly in our ears.
Mr. Cooke sat down and drew a wallet from
250 The Celebrity
his pocket. He began to count the bills, and,
as if by common consent, the Four followed
suit. It was a task which occupied some min
utes, and when completed my client produced
a morocco note-book and a pencil. He glanced
interrogatively at the man nearest him.
" Three hundred and fifty."
Mr. Cooke put it down. It was entirely a
matter of course. What else was there to be
done ? And when he had gone the round of
his followers he turned to Farrar and me.
" How much are you fellows equal to ? " he
I believe he did it because he felt we should
resent being left out : and so we should have.
Mr. Cooke's instincts were delicate.
We told him. Then he paused, his pencil in
the air, and his eyes doubtfully fixed on the
senator. For all this time Mr. Trevor had
been fidgeting in his seat ; but now he opened
his long coat, button by button, and thrust his
hand inside the flap. Oh, Falstaff !
"Father, father!" exclaimed Miss Trevor.
But her tongue was in her cheek.
I have heard it stated that if a thoroughly
righteous man were cast away with ninety and
The Celebrity 251
nine ruffians, each of the ruffians would gain
one-one-hundredth in virtue, whilst the righteous
man would sink to their new level. I am not
able to say how much better Mr. Cooke's party
was for Mr. Trevor's company, but the senator
seemed to realize that something serious had
happened to him, for his voice was not alto
gether steady as he pronounced the amount of
" Trevor," cried Mr. Cooke, with great fervor,
"I take it all back. You're a true, public-
spirited old sport."
But the senator had not yet reached that
extreme of degradation where it is pleasurable
to be congratulated on wickedness.
My client added up the figures and rubbed
his hands. I regret to say that the aggregate
would have bought up three small police organi
zations, body and soul.
" Pull up, Farrar, old man," he shouted.
Farrar released the wheel and threw the
Maria into the wind. With the sail cracking
and the big boom dodging over our heads, we
watched the tug as she drew nearer and nearer,
until we could hear the loud beating of her
engines. On one side some men were making
252 The Celebrity
ready to lower a boat, and then a conspicuous
figure in blue stood out by the davits. Then
came the faint tinkle of a bell, and the H. Sin
clair, of Far Harbor, glided up and thrashed
the water scarce a biscuit-throw away.
" Hello, there ! " the man in uniform called
out. It was Captain McCann, chief of the Far
Mr. Cooke waved his cigar politely.
"Is that Mr. Cooke's yacht, the Maria?"
"The same," said Mr. Cooke.
"I'm fearing I'll have to come aboard you,
" All right, old man, glad to have you," said
This brought a smile to McCann's face as
he got into his boat. We were all standing
in the cockpit, save the Celebrity, who was just
inside of the cabin door. I had time to note
that he was pale, and no more : I must have
been pale myself. A few strokes brought the
chief to the Maria's stern.
"It's not me that likes to interfere with a
gent's pleasure party, but business is business,"
said he, as he climbed aboard.
My client's hospitality was oriental.
The Celebrity 253
" Make yourself at home, old man," he said,
a box of his largest and blackest cigars in his
hand. And these he advanced towards McCann
before the knot was tied in the painter.
Then a wave of self-reproach swept over me.
Was it possible that I, like Mr. Trevor, had
been deprived of all the morals I had ever pos
sessed ? Could it be that the district attorney
was looking calmly on while Mr. Cooke wilfully
corrupted the Far Harbor chief -of-police ? As
agonizing a minute as I ever had in my life was
that which it took McCann to survey those
cigars. His broad features became broader
still, as a huge, red hand was reached out. I
saw it close lingeringly over the box, and then
Mr. Cooke had struck a match. The chief
stepped over the washboard onto the handsome
turkey-red cushions on the seats, and thus he
came face to face with me.
" Holy fathers ! " he exclaimed. " Is it you
who are here, Mr. Crocker?" And he pulled
off his cap.
" No other, McCann," said I, with what I be
lieve was a most pitiful attempt at braggadocio.
McCann began to puff at his cigar. Clouds
of smoke came out of his face and floated down
254 The Celebrity
the wind. He was so visibly embarrassed that
I gained a little courage.
"And what brings you here ? " I demanded.
He scrutinized me in perplexity.
" I think you're guessing, sir."
"Never a guess, McCann. You'll have to
McCann had once had a wholesome respect
for me. But it looked now as if the bottom
was dropping out of it.
"Sure, Mr. Crocker," he said, "what would
you be doing in such company as I'm hunting
for? Can it be that ye're helping to lift a
criminal over the border ? "
"McCann," I asked sternly, "what have you
had on the tug ? "
Force of habit proved too much for the man.
He went back to' the apologetic.
"Never a drop, Mr. Crocker. Upon me
This reminded Mr. Cooke of something (be it
recorded) that he had for once forgotten. He
lifted up the top of the refrigerator. The chief's
eye followed him. But I was not going to permit
" Now, McCann," I commenced again, " if you
The Celebrity 255
will state your business here, if you have any,
I shall be obliged. You are delaying Mr.
The chief was seized with a nervous tremor.
I think we were a pair in that, only I managed
to keep mine under. When it came to the
point, and any bribing was to be done, I had
hit upon a course. Self-respect demanded a
dignity on my part.* With a painful indecision
McCann pulled a paper from his pocket which
I saw was a warrant. And he dropped his
cigar. Mr. Cooke was quick to give him an
"Ye come from Bear Island, Mr. Crocker?"
I replied in the affirmative.
"I hope it's news I'm telling you," he said
soberly ; " I'm hoping it's news when I say that
I'm here for Mr. Charles Wrexell Allen, that's
the gentleman's name. He's after taking a
hundred thousand dollars away from Boston."
Then he turned to Mr. Cooke. "The gentle
man was aboard your boat, sir, when you left
that country place of yours, what d'ye call it ?
Mohair? Thank you, sir." And he wiped
the water from his brow. " And they're telling
256 The Celebrity
me he was on Bear Island with ye ? Sure, sir,
and I can't see why a gentleman of your stand
ing would be wanting to get him over the
border. But I must do my duty. Begging
your pardon, Mr. Crocker," he added, with a
bow to me.
" Certainly, McCann," I said.
For a space there was only the bumping and
straining of the yacht and the swish of the
water against her sides. Then the chief spoke
" It will be saving you both trouble and in-
convanience, Mr. Crocker, if you give him up,
What did the man mean ? Why in the name
of the law didn't he make a move ? I was con
scious that my client was fumbling in his clothes
for the wallet ; that he had muttered an invita
tion for the chief to go inside. McCann smoked
"I don't want to search the boat, sir."
At these words we all turned with one accord
towards the cabin. I felt Farrar gripping my
arm tightly from behind.
The Celebrity had disappeared!
It was Mr. Cooke who spoke.
The Celebrity 257
" Search the boat ! " he said, something be
tween a laugh and a cry.
" Yes, sir," the chief repeated firmly. " It's
sorry I am to do it, with Mr. Crocker here, too."
I have always maintained that nature had
endowed my client with rare gifts; and the
ease with which he now assumed a part thus
unexpectedly thrust upon him, as well as the
assurance with which he carried it out, goes
far to prove it.
"If there's anything in your line aboard,
chief," he said blandly, " help yourself ! "
Some of us laughed. I thought things a little
too close to be funny. Since the Celebrity had
lost his nerve and betaken himself to the place
of concealment Mr. Cooke had prepared for
him, the whole composition of the affair was
changed. Before, if McCann had arrested the
ostensible Mr. Allen, my word, added to fifty
dollars from my client, would probably have
been sufficient. Should he be found now, no
district attorney on the face of the earth could
induce the chief to believe that he was any
other than the real criminal ; nor would any
bribe be large enough to compensate McCann
for the consequences of losing so important
258 The Celebrity
a prisoner. There was nothing now but to
carry it off with a high hand. McCann got up.
" Be your lave, Mr. Crocker," he said.
"Never you mind me, McCann," I replied,
"but you do what is right."
With that he began his search. It might
have been ludicrous if I had had any desire
to laugh, for the chief wore the gingerly air of
a man looking for a rattlesnake which has to be
got somehow. And my client assisted at the
inspection with all the graces of a dancing-
master. McCann poked into the forward lock
ers where we kept the stores, dropping the
iron lid within an inch of his toe, and
the clothing-lockers and the sail-lockers. He
reached under the bunks, and drew out his
hand again quickly, as though he expected to
be bitten. And at last he stood by the trap
with the hole in it, under which the Celebrity
lay prostrate. I could hear my own breathing.
But Mr. Cooke had his wits about him still, and
at this critical juncture he gave McCann a
thump on the back which nearly carried him
off his feet.
"They say the mast is hollow, old man," he
The Celebrity 259
" Be jabers, Mr. Cooke," said McCann, " and
I'm beginning to think it is ! " He took off his
cap- and scratched his head.
" Well, McCann, I hope you're contented," I
" Mr. Crocker," said he, " and it's that thank
ful I am for you that the gent ain't here. But
with him cutting high jinks up at Mr. Cooke's
house with a valet, and him coming on the yacht
with yese, and the whole country in that state
about him, begorra," said McCann, "and it's
domned strange ! Maybe it's swimmin' in the
water he is ! "
The whole party had followed the search, and
at this speech of the chief's our nervous tension
became suddenly relaxed. Most of us sat down
"I'm asking no questions, Mr. Crocker, ye'll
take notice," he remarked, his voice full of
"McCann," said I, "you come outside. I
want to speak to you."
He followed me out.
"Now," I went on, "you know me pretty
well " (he nodded doubtfully), "and if I give you
my word that Charles Wrexell Allen is not on
260 The Celebrity
this yacht, and never has been, is that suffi
" Is it the truth you're saying, sir ? "
I assured him that it was.
"Then where is he, Mr. Crocker?"
" God only knows ! " I replied, with fervor.
" I don't, McCann."
The chief was satisfied. He went back into
the cabin, and Mr. Cooke, in the exuberance
of his joy, produced champagne. McCann had
heard of my client and of his luxurious country
place, and moreover it was the first time he had
ever been on a yellow-plush yacht. He tarried.
He drank Mr. Cooke's health and looked around
him in wonder and awe, and his remarks were
worthy of record. These sayings and the
thought of the author of The Sybarites stifling
below with his mouth to an auger-hole kept us
in a continual state of merriment. And at last
our visitor rose to go.
As he was stepping over the side, Mr. Cooke
laid hold of a brass button and pressed a hand
ful of the black cigars upon him.
" My regards to the detective, old man," said
The Celebrity 261
" My regards to Drew," my client insisted.
" Oh ! " said McCann, his face lighting up,
''him with the whiskers, what came from Bear
Island in a cat-boat. Sure, he wasn't no de
"What was he? A police commissioner?"
" Mr. Cooke," said McCann, disdainfully, as
he got into his boat, "he wasn't nothing but
a prospector doing the lake for one of thim
summer hotel companies."
WHEN the biography of the Celebrity is
written, and I have no doubt it will be some
day, may his biographer kindly draw a veil over
that instant in his life when he was tenderly
and obsequiously raised by Mr. Cooke from the
trap in the floor of the Marias cabin.
It is sometimes the case that a good fright
will heal a feud. And whereas, before the
arrival of the H. Sinclair, there had been much
dissension and many quarrels concerning the
disposal of the quasi Charles Wrexell Allen,
when the tug steamed away to the southwards
but one opinion remained, that, like Jonah,
he must be got rid of. And no one concurred
more heartily in this than the Celebrity himself.
He strolled about and smoked apathetically,
with the manner of one who was bored beyond
description, whilst the discussion was going on
between Farrar, Mr. Cooke, and myself as to
the best place to land him. When consider
ately asked by my client whether he had any
The Celebrity 263
choice in the matter, he replied, somewhat face
tiously, that he could not think of making a
suggestion to one who had shown such superla
tive skill in its previous management.
Mr. Trevor, too, experienced a change of
sentiment in Mr. Cooke's favor. It is not too
much to say that the senator's scare had been
of such thoroughness that he was willing to
agree to almost anything. He had come so
near to being relieved of that most precious
possession, his respectability, that the reason
in Mr. Cooke's course now appealed to him
very strongly. Thus he became a tacit as-
senter in wrong-doing, for circumstances thrust
this, once in a while, upon the best of our
The afternoon wore cool ; nay, cold is a better
word. The wind brought with it a suggestion
of the pine-clad wastes of the northwestern
wilderness whence it came, and that sure har
binger of autumn, the blue haze, settled around
the hills, and benumbed the rays of the sun
lingering over the crests. Farrar and I, as
navigators, were glad to get into our overcoats,
while the others assembled in the little cabin
and lighted the gasoline stove which stood in
264 The Celebrity
the corner. Outside we had our pipes for con
solation, and the sunset beauty of the lake.
By six we were well over the line, and con
sulting our chart, we selected a cove behind a
headland on our left, which seemed the best we
could do for an anchorage, although it was
shallow and full of rocks. As we were chang
ing our course to run in, Mr. Cooke appeared,
bundled up in his reefer. He was in the best
of spirits, and was good enough to concur with
"Now, sir," asked Farrar, "what do you pro
pose to do with Allen ? "
But our client only chuckled.
" Wait and see, old man," he said ; " I've got
that all fixed."
" Well," Farrar remarked, when he had gone
in again, " he has steered it deuced well so far.
I think we can trust him."
It was dark when we dropped anchor, a very
tired party indeed ; and as the Maria could not
accommodate us all with sleeping quarters, Mr.
Cooke decided that the ladies should have the
cabin, since the night was cold. And so it
might have been, had not Miss Thorn flatly
refused to sleep there. The cabin was stuffy,
The Celebrity 265
she said, and so she carried her point. Leaving
Farrar and one of Mr. Cooke's friends to take
care of the yacht, the rest of us went ashore,
built a roaring fire and raised a tent, and pro
ceeded to make ourselves as comfortable as cir
cumstances would allow. The sense of relief
over the danger passed produced a kind of
lightheartedness amongst us, and the topics
broached at supper would not have been inap
propriate at a friendly dinner party. As we
were separating for the night Miss Thorn said
to me :
" I am so happy for your sake, Mr. Crocker,
that he was not discovered."
For my sake ! Could she really have meant
it, after all ? I went to sleep thinking of that
sentence, beside my client beneath the trees.
And it was first in my thoughts when I awoke.
As we dipped our faces in the brook the next
morning my client laughed softly to himself
between the gasps, and I knew that he had in
mind the last consummate touch to his success
ful enterprise. And the revelation came when
the party were assembled at breakfast. Mr.
Cooke stood up, and drawing from his pocket
a small and mysterious paper parcel he forth-
266 The Celebrity
with delivered himself in the tone and manner
which had so endeared him to the familiars of
the Lake House bar.
" I'm not much for words, as you all know,"
said he, with becoming modesty, "and I don't
set up to be an orator. I am just what you see
here, a damned plain man. And there's only
one virtue that I lay any claim to, no one can
say that I ever went back on a friend. I want
to thank all of you (looking at the senator) for
what you have done for me and Allen. It's not
for us to talk about that hundred thousand dol
lars. My private opinion is (he seemed to have
no scruples about making it public) that Allen
is insane. No, old man, don't interrupt me ;
but you haven't acted just right, and that's a
fact. And I won't feel square with myself
until I put him where I found him, in safety.
I am sorry to say, my friends," he added, with
emotion, "that Mr. Allen is about to leave us."
He paused for breath, palpably satisfied with
so much of it, and with the effect on his
"Now," continued he, "we start this morn
ing for a place which is only four miles or so
from the town of Saville, and I shall then re-
The Celebrity 267
quest my esteemed legal adviser, Mr. Crocker,
to proceed to the town and buy a ready-made
suit of clothes for Mr. Allen, a slouch hat, a
cheap necktie, and a stout pair of farmer's
boots. And I have here," he said, holding up
the package, "I have here the rest of it. My
friends, you heard the chief tell me that Drew
was doing the lake for a summer hotel syndi
cate. But if Drew wasn't a detective you can
throw me into the lake! He wasn't exactly
Pinkerton, and I flatter myself that we were
too many for him," said Mr. Cooke, with de
served pride; "and he went away in such a
devilish hurry that he forgot his hand-bag with
some of his extra things."
Then my client opened the package, and held
up on a string before our astonished eyes a
wig, a pair of moustaches, and two bushy red
And this was Mr. Cooke's scheme ! Did it
electrify his hearers ? Perhaps. Even the sena
tor was so choked with laughter that he was
forced to cast loose one of the buttons which
held on his turn-down collar, and Farrar retired
into the woods. But the gravity of Mr. Cooke's
countenance remained serene.
268 The Celebrity
"Old man," he said to the Celebrity, "you'll
have to learn the price of potatoes now. Here
are Mr. Drew's duplicates ; try 'em on."
This the Celebrity politely but firmly refused
"Mr. Cooke," said he, "it has never been my
lot to visit so kind and considerate a host, or to
know a man who pursued his duty with so little
thought and care of his own peril. I wish to
thank you, and to apologize for any hasty ex
pressions I may have dropped by mistake, and
I would it were possible to convince you that I
am neither a maniac nor an embezzler. But, if
it's just the same to you, I believe I can get
along without the disguise you mentioned, and
so save Mr. Crocker his pains. In short, if you
will set me down at Saville, I am willing to take
my chances of reaching the Canadian Pacific
from that point without fear of detection."
The Celebrity's speech produced a good im
pression on all save Mr. Cooke, who appeared a
trifle water-logged. He had dealt successfully
with Mr. Allen when that gentleman had been
in defiant moods, or in moods of ugly sarcasm.
But this good-natured, turn-you-down-easy note
puzzled my client not a little. Was this cher-
The Celebrity 269
ished scheme a whim or a joke to be lightly
cast aside? Mr. Cooke thought not. The
determination which distinguished him still sat
in his eye as he bustled about giving orders for
the breaking of camp. This refractory criminal
must be saved from himself, cost what it might,
and responsibility again rested heavy on my
client's mind as I rowed him out to the Maria.
"Crocker," he said, "if Allen is scooped in
spite of us, you have got to go East and make
him out an idiot."
He seemed to think that I had a talent for
this particular defence. I replied that I would
do my best.
" It won't be difficult," he went on ; " not
near as tough as that case you won for me.
You can bring in all the bosh about his claim
ing to be an author, you know. And I'll stand
This was downright generous of Mr. Cooke.
We have all, no doubt, drawn our line between
what is right and what is wrong, but I have
often wondered how many of us with the world's
indorsement across our backs trespass as little
on the other side of the line as he.
After Farrar and the Four got aboard it fell
2/O The Celebrity
to my lot to row the rest of the party to the
yacht. And this was no slight task that morn
ing. The tender was small, holding but two
beside the man at the oars, and owing to the
rocks and shallow water of which I have spoken,
the Maria lay considerably over a quarter of a
mile out. Hence each trip occupied some
time. Mr. Cooke I had transferred with a
load of canvas and the tent poles, and next
I returned for Mrs. Cooke and Mr. Trevor,
whom I deposited safely. Then I landed again,
helped in Miss Trevor and Miss Thorn, leaving
the Celebrity for the last, and was pulling for
the yacht when a cry from the tender's stern
" Mr. Crocker, they are sailing away without
I turned in my seat. The Maria s mainsail
was up, and the jib was being hoisted, and her
head was rapidly falling off to the wind. Far-
rar was casting. In the stern, waving a hand
kerchief, I recognized Mrs. Cooke, and beside
her a figure in black, gesticulating frantically,
a vision of coat-tails flapping in the breeze.
Then the yacht heeled on her course and forged
The Celebrity 271
"Row, Mr. Crocker, row! they are leaving
us ! " cried Miss Trevor, in alarm.
I hastened to reassure her.
" Farrar is probably trying something," I
said. "They will be turning presently."
This is just what they did not do. Once out
of the inlet, they went about and headed north
ward, up the coast, and we remained watching
them until Mr. Trevor became a mere oscillat
ing black speck against the sail.
" What can it mean ? " asked Miss Thorn.
I had not so much as an idea.
" They certainly won't desert us, at any rate," I
said. " We had better go ashore again and wait."
The Celebrity was seated on the beach, and
he was whittling. Now whittling is an occupa
tion which speaks of a contented frame of mind,
and the Maria's departure did not seem to have
annoyed or disturbed him.
" Castaways," says he, gayly, " castaways on
a foreign shore. Two delightful young ladies,
a bright young lawyer, a fugitive from justice,
no chaperon, and nothing to eat. And what
a situation for a short story, if only an author
were permitted to make use of his own experi
ences ! "
272 The Celebrity
" Only you don't know how it will end," Miss
Thorn put in.
The Celebrity glanced up at her.
" I have a guess," said he, with a smile.
"Is it true," Miss Trevor asked, "that a
story must contain the element of love in order
to find favor with the public ? "
" That generally recommends it, especially to
your sex, Miss Trevor," he replied jocosely.
Miss Trevor appeared interested.
"And tell me," she went on, "isn't it some
times the case that you start out intent on one
ending, and that your artistic sense of what is
fitting demands another ? "
"Don't be silly, Irene," said Miss Thorn.
She was skipping flat pebbles over the water,
and doing it capitally, too.
I thought the Celebrity rather resented the
"That sometimes happens, of course," said
he, carelessly. He produced his inevitable gold
cigarette case and held it out to me. "Be
sociable for once, and have one," he said,
"Do you know," he continued, lighting me a
match, " it beats me why you and Miss Trevor
The Celebrity 273
put this thing up on me. You have enjoyed it,
naturally, and if you wanted to make me out a
donkey you succeeded rather well. I used to
think that Crocker was a pretty good friend
of mine when I went to his dinners in New
York. And I once had every reason to believe,"
he added, " that Miss Trevor and I were on ex
Was this audacity or stupidity? Undoubt
" So we were," answered Miss Trevor, " and
I should be very sorry to think, Mr. Allen," she
said meaningly, " that our relations had in any
It was the Celebrity's turn to flush.
" At any rate," he remarked in his most off
hand manner, " I am much obliged to you both.
On sober reflection I have come to believe that
you did the very best thing for my reputation."
HE had scarcely uttered these words before
the reason for the Maria's abrupt departure
became apparent. The anchorage of the yacht
had been at a spot whence nearly the whole
south of the lake towards Far Harbor was open,
whilst a high tongue of land hid that part from
us on the shore. As he spoke, there shot before
our eyes a steaming tug-boat, and a second look
was not needed to assure me that she was the
" H. Shtclair, of Far Harbor." They had per
ceived her from the yacht an hour since, and it
was clear that my client, prompt to act as to
think, had decided at once to put out and lead
her a blind chase, so giving the Celebrity a
chance to make good his escape.
The surprise and apprehension created
amongst us by her sudden appearance was
such that none of us, for a space, spoke or
moved. She was about a mile off shore, but
it was even whether the chief would decide
that his quarry had been left behind in the
The Celebrity 275
inlet and turn in, or whether he would push
ahead after the yacht. He gave us an abomina
ble five minutes of uncertainty. For when he
came opposite the cove he slowed up, appar
ently weighing his chances. It was fortunate
that we were hidden from his glasses by a
copse of pines. The Sinclair increased her
speed and pushed northward after the Maria.
I turned to the Celebrity.
" If you wish to escape, now is your chance,"
For contrariness he was more than I have
ever had to deal with. Now he crossed his
knees and laughed.
" It strikes me you had better escape, Crocker,"
said he. "You have more to run for."
I looked across at Miss Thorn. She had told
him, then, of my predicament. And she did not
meet my eye. He began to whittle again, and
" It is only seventeen miles or so across these
hills to Far Harbor, old chap, and you can get
a train there for Asquith."
" Just as you choose," said I, shortly.
With that I started off to gain the top of the
promontory in order to watch the chase. I
2j6 The Celebrity
knew that this could not last as long as that
of the day before. In less than three hours we
might expect the Maria and the tug in the
cove. And, to be frank, the indisposition of
the Celebrity to run troubled me. Had he
come to the conclusion that it was just as
well to submit to what seemed the inevitable
and so enjoy the spice of revenge over me?
My thoughts gave zest to my actions, and I
was climbing the steep, pine-clad slope with
rapidity when I heard Miss Trevor below me
calling out to wait for her. At the point of
our ascent the ridge of the tongue must have
been four hundred feet above the level of the
water, and from this place of vantage we could
easily make out the Maria in the distance, and
note from time to time the gain of the Sinclair.
"It wasn't fair of me, I know, to leave
Marian," said Miss Trevor, apologetically, " but
I simply couldn't resist the temptation to come
" I hardly think she will bear you much ill-
will," I answered dryly; "you did the kindest
thing possible. Who knows but what they are
considering the advisability of an elopement ! "
We passed a most enjoyable morning up
The Celebrity 277
there, all things taken into account, for the day
was too perfect for worries. We even laughed
at our hunger, which became keen about noon,
as is always the case when one has nothing to
eat ; so we set out to explore the ridge for
blackberries. These were so plentiful that I
gathered a hatful for our friends below, and
then I lingered for a last look at the boats. I
could make out but one. Was it the yacht ?
No ; for there was a trace of smoke over it.
And yet I was sure of a mast. I put my hand
over my eyes.
"What is it?" asked Miss Trevor, anxiously.
"The tug has the Maria in tow," I said, "and
they are coming this way."
We scrambled down, sobered by this dis
covery and thinking of little else. And break
ing through the bushes we came upon Miss
Thorn and the Celebrity. To me, preoccupied
with the knowledge that the tug would soon
be upon us, there seemed nothing strange in
the attitude of these two, but Miss Trevor
remarked something out of the common at
once. How keenly a woman scents a situa
The Celebrity was standing with his back
278 The Celebrity
to Miss Thorn, at the edge of the water. His
chin was in the air, and to a casual observer
he looked to be minutely interested in a flock
of gulls passing over us. And Miss Thorn ?
She was enthroned upon a heap of drift-wood,
and when I caught sight of her face I forgot
the very existence of the police captain. Her
lips were parted in a smile.
"You are just in time, Irene," she said
calmly ; " Mr. Allen has asked me to be his
I stood, with the hatful of berries in my hand,
like a stiff wax figure in a museum. The ex
pected had come at last ; and how little do we
expect the expected when it comes ! I was
aware that both the young women were looking
at me, and that both were quietly laughing.
And I must have cut a ridiculous figure indeed,
though I have since been informed on good
authority that this was not so. Much I cared
then what happened. Then came Miss Trevor's
reply, and it seemed to shake the very founda
tions of my wits.
"But, Marian," said she, "you can't have
him. He is engaged to me. And if it's quite
the same to you, I want him myself. It isn't
The Celebrity 279
often, you know, that one has the opportunity
to marry a Celebrity."
The Celebrity turned around : an expression
of extraordinary intelligence shot across his
face, and I knew then that the hole in the well-
nigh invulnerable armor of his conceit had been
found at last. And Miss Thorn, of all people,
had discovered it.
" Engaged to you ? " she cried, " I can't be
lieve it. He would be untrue to everything he
"My word should be sufficient," said Miss
Trevor, stiffly. (May I be hung if they hadn't
acted it all out before.) "If you should wish
proofs, however, I have several notes from him
which are at your service, and an inscribed
photograph. No, Marian," she added, shaking
her head, " I really cannot give him up."
Miss Thorn rose and confronted him, and
her dignity was inspiring.
"Is this so?" she demanded; "is it true
that you are engaged to marry Miss Trevor ? "
The Bone of Contention was badly troubled.
He had undoubtedly known what it was to have
two womMi quarrelling over his hand at the
same time., but I am willing to bet that the
280 The Celebrity
sensation of having them come together in his
presence was new to him.
"I did not think " he began. "I was not
aware that Miss Trevor looked upon the matter
in that light, and you know "
" What disgusting equivocation," Miss Trevor
interrupted. "He asked me point blank to
marry him, and of course I consented. He has
never mentioned to me that he wished to break
the engagement, and I wouldn't have broken
I felt like a newsboy in a gallery, I wanted
to cheer. And the Celebrity kicked the stones
"Who would have thought," she persisted,
" that the author of The Sybarites, the man who
chose Desmond for a hero, could play thus idly
with the heart of woman ? The man who wrote
these beautiful lines : ' Inconstancy in a woman,
because of the present social conditions, is
sometimes pardonable. In a man, nothing is
more despicable.' And how poetic a justice
it is that he has to marry me, and is thus forced
to lead the life of self-denial he has conceived
for his hero. Mr. Crocker, will you be my
attorney if he should offer any objections ? "
The Celebrity 281
The humor of this proved too much for the
three of us, and Miss Trevor herself went into
peals of laughter. Would that the Celebrity
could have seen his own face. I doubt if even
he could have described it. But I wished for
his sake that the earth might have kindly
opened and taken him in.
" Marian," said Miss Trevor, " I am going to
be very generous. I relinquish the prize to you,
and to you only. And I flatter myself there are
not many girls in this world who would do it."
"Thank you, Irene," Miss Thorn replied
gravely, "much as I want him, I could not
think of depriving you."
Well, there is a limit to all endurance, and
the Celebrity had reached his.
"Crocker," he said, "how far is it to the
I told him. ,
" I think I had best be starting," said he.
And a moment later he had disappeared into
* # # * *
We stood gazing in the direction he had
taken, until the sound of his progress had died
away. The shock of it all had considerably
282 The Celebrity
muddled my brain, and when at last I had ad
justed my thoughts to the new conditions, a
sensation of relief, of happiness, of joy (call it
what you will), came upon me, and I could
scarce restrain an impulse to toss my hat in
the air. He was gone at last ! But that was
not the reason. I was safe from O'Meara and
calumny. Nor was this all. And I did not dare
to look at Miss Thorn. The knowledge that
she had planned and carried out with dignity
and success such a campaign filled me with awe.
That I had misjudged her made me despise
myself. Then I became aware that she was
speaking to me, and I turned.
" Mr. Crocker, do you think there is any
danger that he will lose his way?"
"No, Miss Thorn," I replied; "he has only
to get to the top of that ridge and strike the
road for Saville, as I told him."
We were silent again until Miss Trevor re
" Well, he deserved every bit of it."
"And more, Irene," said Miss Thorn, laugh
ing; "he deserved to marry you."
"I think he won't come West again for a
very long time," said I.
The Celebrity 283
Miss Trevor regarded me wickedly, and I
knew what was coming.
" I hope you are convinced, now, Mr. Crocker,
that our sex is not as black as you painted
it : that Miss Thorn knew what she was about,
and that she is not the inconsistent and variable
creature you took her to be."
I felt the blood rush to my face, and Miss
Thorn, too, became scarlet. She went up to
the mischievous Irene and grasping her arms
from behind, bent them until she cried for
" How strong you are, Marian ! It is an out
rage to hurt me so. I haven't said anything."
But she was incorrigible, and when she had
twisted free she began again :
" I took it upon myself to speak a few para
bles to Mr. Crocker the other day. You know,
Marian, that he is one of these level-headed old
fogies who think women ought to be kept in a
menagerie, behind bars, to be inspected on
Saturday afternoons. Now, I appeal to you if
it wouldn't be disastrous to fall in love with a
man of such ideas. And just to let you know
what a literal old law-brief he is, when I said he
had had a hat-pin sticking in him for several
284 The Celebrity
weeks, he nearly jumped overboard, and began
to feel himself all over. Did you know that he
actually believed you were doing your best to
get married to the Celebrity ? " (Here she
dodged Miss Thorn again.) "Oh, yes, he con
fided in me. He used to worry himself ill over
that. I'll tell you what he said to me only "
But fortunately at this juncture Miss Trevor
was captured again, and Miss Thorn put her
hand over her mouth. Heaven only knows
what she would have said !
The two boats did not arrive until nearly four
o'clock, owing to some trouble to the tug's pro
peller. Not knowing what excuse my client
might have given for leaving some of his party
ashore, I thought it best to go out to meet
them. Seated on the cabin roof of the Maria
I beheld Mr. Cooke and McCann in conversa
tion, each with a black cigar too big for
"Hello, Crocker, old man," shouted my
client, " did you think I was never coming back ?
I've had lots of sport out of this hayseed cap
tain" (and he poked that official playfully),
" but I didn't get any grub. So we'll have to
go to Far Harbor."
The Celebrity 285
I caught the hint. Mr. Cooke had given out
that he had started for Saville to restock the
" No," he continued, " Brass Buttons didn't
let me get to Saville. You see, when he got
back to town last night they told him he had
been buncoed out of the biggest thing for years,
and they got it into his head that I was child
enough to run a ferry for criminals. They told
him he wasn't the sleuth he thought he was, so
he came back. They'll have the laugh on him
now, for sure."
McCann listened with admirable good-nature,
gravely pulling at his cigar, and eyeing Mr.
Cooke with a friendly air of admiration.
"Mr. Crocker," he said, with melancholy
humor, "it's leery I am with the whole shoot
ing-match. Mr. Cooke here is a gentleman,
every inch of him, and so be you, Mr. Crocker.
But I'm just after taking a look at the hole
in the bottom of the boat. ' Ye have yer bunks
in queer places, Mr. Cooke,' says I. It's not for
me to be doubting a gentleman's word, sir, but
I'm thinking me man is over the hills and far
away, and that's true for ye."
Mr. Cooke winked expressively.
286 The Celebrity
"McCann, you've been jerked," said he.
" Have another bottle ! "
The Sinclair towed us to Far Harbor for a
consideration, the wind being strong again from
the south, and McCann was induced by the
affable owner to remain on the yellow-plush
yacht. I cornered him before we had gone
a great distance.
" McCann," said I, " what made you come
back to-day ? "
" Faith, Mr. Crocker, I don't care if I am tell
ing you. I always had a liking for you, sir, and
bechune you and me it was that divil O'Meara
what made all the trouble. I wasn't taking his
money, not me ; the saints forbid ! But glory
be to God, if he didn't raise a rumpus whin I
come back without Allen ! It was sure he was
that the gent left that place, what are ye
calling it ? Mohair, in the Maria, and we tele
graphs over to Asquith. He swore I'd lose me
job if I didn't fetch him to-day. Mr. Crocker,
sir, it's the lumber business I'll be startin' next
week," said McCann.
"Don't let that worry you, McCann," I
answered. " I will see that you don't lose your
place, and I give you my word again that
The Celebrity 287
Charles Wrexell Allen has never been aboard
this yacht, or at Mohair to my knowledge.
What is more, I will prove it to-morrow to
McCann's faith was touching.
" Ye' re not to say another word, sir," he said,
and he stuck out his big hand, which I grasped
My affection for McCann still remains a
After my talk with McCann I was sitting on
the forecastle propped against the bitts of the
Maria's anchor-chain, and looking at the swirl
ing foam cast up by the tug's propeller. There
were many things I wished to turn over in my
mind just then, but I had not long been in a
state of reverie when I became conscious that
Miss Thorn was standing beside me. I got to
"I have been wondering how long you would re
main in that trance, Mr. Crocker," she said. " Is
it too much to ask what you were thinking of ? "
Now it so chanced that I was thinking of her
at that moment. It would never have done to
say this, so I stammered. And Miss Thorn was
a young woman of tact.
288 The Celebrity
" I should not have put that to so literal a
man as you," she declared. " I fear that you
are incapable of crossing swords. And then,"
she added, with a slight hesitation that puzzled
me, " I did not come up here to ask you that,
I came to get your opinion."
" My opinion ? " I repeated.
" Not your legal opinion," she replied, smiling,
" but your opinion as a citizen, as an individual,
if you have one. To be frank, I want your
opinion of me. Do you happen to have such
a thing ? "
I had. But I was in no condition to give it.
" Do you think me a very wicked girl ? " she
asked, coloring. " You once thought me incon
sistent, I believe, but I am not that. Have I
done wrong in leading the Celebrity to the
point where you saw him this morning ? "
"Heaven forbid!" I cried fervently; "but
you might have spared me a great deal had you
let me into the secret."
" Spared you a great deal," said Miss Thorn.
"I I don't quite understand."
"Well " I began, and there I stayed. All
the words in the dictionary seemed to slip out
of my grasp, and I foundered. I realized I had
The Celebrity 289
said something which even in my wildest mo
ments I had not dared to think of. My secret
was out before I knew I possessed it. Bad
enough had I told it to Farrar in an unguarded
second. But to her! I was blindly seeking
some way of escape when she said softly :
" Did you really care ? "
I am man enough, I hope, when there is need
to be. And it matters not what I felt then, but
the words came back to me.
" Marian," I said, " I cared more than you will
But it seems that she had known all the
time, almost since that night I had met her
at the train. And how? I shall not pretend
to answer, that being quite beyond me. I am
very sure of one thing, however, which is that
I never told a soul, man or woman, or even
hinted at it. How was it possible when I
didn't know myself ?
The light in the west was gone as we were
pulled into Far Harbor, and the lamps of the
little town twinkled brighter than I had ever
seen them before. I think they must have been
reflected in our faces, since Miss Trevor, when
290 The Celebrity
she came forward to look for us, saw something
there and openly congratulated us, And this
most embarrassing young woman demanded
" How did it happen, Marian ? Did you pro
pose to him ? "
I was about to protest indignantly, but Marian
laid her hand on my arm.
"Tell it not in Asquith," said she. "Irene,
I won't have him teased any more."
We were drawing up to the dock, and for the
first time I saw that a crowd was gathered
there. The report of this chase had gone
abroad. Some began calling out to McCann
when we came within distance, among others
the editor of the Northern Lights, and beside
him I perceived with amusement the generous
lines of the person of Mr. O'Meara himself. I
hurried back to give Farrar a hand with the
ropes, and it was O'Meara who caught the one
I flung ashore and wound it around a pile.
The people pressed around, peering at our party
on the Maria, and I heard McCann exhorting
them to make way. And just then, as he was
about to cross the plank, they parted for some
one from behind. A breathless messenger
The Celebrity 291
halted at the edge of the wharf. He held
out a telegram.
McCann seized it and dived into the cabin,
followed closely by my client and those of us
who could push after. He tore open the en
velope, his eye ran over the lines, and then he
began to slap his thigh and turn around in a
circle, like a man dazed.
"Whiskey!" shouted Mr. Cooke. "Get him
a glass of Scotch ! "
But McCann held up his hand.
" Holy Saint Patrick ! " he said, in a husky
voice, "it's upset I am, bottom upwards. Will
ye listen to this ? "
" ' Drew is your man. Reddish hair and long
side whiskers, gray clothes. Pretends to repre
sent summer hotel syndicate. Allen it Asquith
unknown and harmless.
" ' (Signed.) Everhardt: "
" Sew me up," said Mr. Cooke ; " if that don't
IN this world of lies the good and. the bad are
so closely intermingled that frequently one is
the means of obtaining the other. Therefore,
I wish very freely to express my obligations to
the Celebrity for any share he may have had
in contributing to the greatest happiness of my
Marian and I were married the very next
month, October, at my client's palatial resi
dence of Mohair. This was at Mr. Cooke's
earnest wish : and since Marian was Mrs.
Cooke's own niece, and an orphan, there
seemed no ^ood reason why my client should
not be humored in the matter. As for Marian
and me, we did not much care whether we were
married at Mohair or the City of Mexico. Mrs.
Cooke, I think, had a secret preference for
Mr. Cooke quite over-reached himself in that
wedding. "The knot was tied," as the papers
expressed it, "under a huge bell of yellow
The Celebrity 293
roses." The paper also named the figure which
the flowers and the collation and other things
cost Mr. Cooke. A natural reticence forbids
me to repeat it. But, lest my client should
think that I undervalue his kindness, I will say
that we had the grandest wedding ever seen
in that part of the world. McCann was there,
and Mr. Cooke saw to it that he had a punch
bowl all to himself in which to drink our
healths : Judge Short was there, still followed
by the conjugal eye: and Senator Trevor, who
remained over, in a new long black coat to kiss
the bride. Mr. Cooke chartered two cars to
carry guests from the East, besides those who
came as ordinary citizens. Miss Trevor was
of the party, and Farrar, of course, was best
man. Would that I had the flow of words pos
sessed by the reporter of the Chicago Sunday
But there is one thing I must mention before
Mrs. Crocker and I leave for New York, in a
shower of rice, on Mr. Cooke' s own private car,
and that is my client's gift. In addition to the
check he gave Marian, he presented us with
a huge, repousse" silver urn he had had made
to order, and he expressed a desire that the
294 The Celebrity
design upon it should remind us of him forever
and ever. I think it will. Mercury is duly set
forth in a gorgeous equipage, driving four horses
around the world at a furious pace ; and the
artist, by special instructions, had docked their
From New York, Mrs. Crocker and I went
abroad. And it so chanced, in December, that
we were staying a few days at a country-place
in Sussex, and the subject of The Sybarites was
broached at a dinner-party. The book was then
having its sale in England.
" Crocker," said our host, " do you happen to
have met the author of that book? He's an
I looked across the table at my wife, and we
" I happen to know him intimately," I replied.
"Do you, now?" said the Englishman;
"what a very entertaining chap he is, is he not ?
I had him down in October, and, by Jove, we
were laughing the blessed time. He was tell
ing us how he wrote his novels, and he said,
'pon my soul he did, that he had a secretary or
something of that sort to whom he told the plot,
and the secretary elaborated, you know, and
The Celebrity 295
wrote the draft. And he said, 'pon my honor,
that sometimes the dark wrote the plot and
all, the whole blessed thing, and that he
never saw the book except to sign his name
"You say he was here in October?" asked
Marian, when the laugh had subsided.
"I have the date," answered our host, "for
he left me an autograph copy of The Sybarites
when he went away." And after dinner he
showed us the book, with evident pride. In
scribed on the fly-leaf was the name of the
author, October loth. But a glance sufficed to
convince both of us that the Celebrity had never
"John," said Marian to me, a suspicion of
the truth crossing her mind, "John, can it
be the bicycle man ? "
" Yes, it can be," I said ; " it is."
"Well," said Marian, "he's been doing a little
more for our friend than we did."
Nor was this the last we heard of that me
teoric trip through England, which the alleged
author of The Sybarites had indulged in. He
did not go up to London ; not he. It was
given out that he was travelling for his health,
296 The Celebrity
that he did not wish to be lionized ; and there
were friends of the author in the metropolis
who had never heard of his secretary, and who
were at a loss to understand his conduct. They
felt slighted. One of these told me that the
Celebrity had been to a Lincolnshire estate
where he had created a decided sensation by
his riding to hounds, something the Celebrity
had never been known to do. And before we
crossed the Channel, Marian saw another auto
graph copy of the famous novel.
One day, some months afterwards, we were
sitting in our little sa!6n in a Paris hotel when
a card was sent up, which Marian took.
"John," she cried, "it's the Celebrity."
It was the Celebrity, in the flesh, faultlessly
groomed and clothed, with frock coat, gloves,
and stick. He looked the picture of ruddy,
manly health and strength, and we saw at once
that he bore no ill-will for the past. He con
gratulated us warmly, and it was my turn to
offer him a cigarette. He was nothing loath
to reminisce on the subject of his experiences
in the wilds of the northern lakes, or even to
laugh over them. He asked affectionately after
his friend Cooke. Time had softened his feel-
The Celebrity 297
ings, and we learned that he had another girl,
who was in Paris just then, and invited us on
the spot to dine with her at "Joseph's." Let
me say, in passing, that as usual she did credit
to the Celebrity's exceptional taste.
"Now," said he, "I have something to tell
He asked for another cigarette, and I laid
the box beside him.
"I suppose you reached Saville all right," I
"Seven at night," said he, "and so hungry
that I ate what they call marble cake for supper,
and a great many other things out of little side
dishes, and nearly died of indigestion afterward.
Then I took a train up to the main line. An
express came along. 'Why not go West?' I
asked myself, and I jumped aboard. It was
another whim you know I am subject to them.
When I got to Victoria I wired for money and
sailed to Japan; and then I went on to India
and through the Suez, taking things easy. I
fell in with some people I knew who were going
where the spirit moved them, and I went along :
Algiers, for one place, and whom do you think
I saw there, in the lobby of a hotel ? "
298 The Celebrity
"Charles Wrexell Allen," cried Marian and I
The Celebrity looked surprised. "How did
you know ? " he demanded.
" Go on with your story," said Marian ;
"what did he do?"
"What did he do?" said the Celebrity;
"why, the blackguard stepped up and shook
me by the hand, and asked after my health, and
wanted to know whether I were married yet.
He was so beastly familiar that I took out my
glass, and I got him into a cafe" for fear some
one would see me with him. ' My dear fellow,'
said he, ' you did me the turn of my life. How
can I ever repay you ? ' ' Hang your impu
dence,' said I, but I wanted to hear what he
had to say. ' Don't lose your temper, old chap,'
he laughed ; ' you took a few liberties with my
name, and there was no good reason why I
shouldn't take some with yours. Was there ?
When I think of it, the thing was most decid
edly convenient ; it was the hand of Provi
dence.' 'You took liberties with my name,' I
cried. With that he coolly called to the waiter
to fill our glasses. 'Now,' said he, 'I've got a
story for you. Do you remember the cotillon,
The Celebrity 299
or whatever it was, that Cooke gave? Well,
that was all in the Chicago papers, and the
" Miles Standish " agent there saw it, and he
knew pretty well that I wasn't West. So he
sent me the papers, just for fun. You may
imagine my surprise when I read that I had
been leading a dance out at Mohair, or some
such barbarous place in the northwest. I looked
it up on the map (Asquith, I mean), and then I
began to think. I wondered who in the devil it
might be who had taken my name and occupa
tion, and all that. You see, I had just relieved
the company of a little money, and it hit me
like a clap of thunder one day that the idiot
was you. But I couldn't be sure. And as long
as I had to get out very soon anyway, I con
cluded to go to Mohair and make certain, and
then pile things off on you if you happened to
be the man.'"
At this point Marian and I were seized with
daughter, in which the Celebrity himself joined.
Presently he continued :
"'So I went,' said Allen. ' I provided my
self with two disguises, as a careful man should,
but by the time I reached that outlandish hole,
Asquith, the little thing I was mixed up in
3OO The Celebrity
burst prematurely, and the papers were full of
it that morning. The whole place was out with
sticks, so to speak, hunting for you. They told
me the published description hit you to a dot,
all except the scar, and they quarrelled about
that. I posed as the promoter of resort syndi
cates, and I hired the Scimitar and sailed over
to Bear Island ; and I didn't have a bad time
that afternoon, only Cooke insisted on making
remarks about my whiskers, and I was in mor
tal fear lest he might accidentally pull one off.
He came cursed near it. By the way, he's the
very deuce of a man, isn't he ? I knew he took
me for a detective, so I played the part. And
in the night that ass of a state senator nearly
gave me pneumonia by getting me out in the
air to tell me they had hid you in a cave. So I
sat up all night, and followed the relief party in
the morning, and you nearly disfigured me for
life when you threw that bottle into the woods.
Then I went back to camp, and left so fast that I
forgot my extra pair of red whiskers. I had two
of each disguise, you know, so I didn't miss
" ' I guess,' Mr. Allen went on, gleefully, 'that
I got off about as cleanly as any criminal ever
The Celebrity 301
did, thanks to you. If we'd fixed the thing up
between us it couldn't have been any neater,
could it ? Because I went straight to Far Har
bor and got you into a peck of trouble, right
away, and then slipped quietly into Canada, and
put on the outfit of a travelling salesman. And
right here another bright idea struck me. Why
not carry the thing farther? I knew that you
had advertised a trip to Europe (why, the Lord
only knows), so I went East and sailed for
England on the Canadian Line. And let me
thank you for a little sport I had in a quiet way
as the author of The Sybarites. I think I as
tonished some of your friends, old boy.' "
The Celebrity lighted another cigarette.
"So if it hadn't been for me," he said, "the
'Miles Standish Bicycle Company' wouldn't
have gone to the wall, Can they sentence me
for assisting Allen to get away, Crocker? If
they can, I believe I shall stay over here."
" I think you are safe," said I. " But didn't
Allen tell you any more ? "
" No. A man he used to know came into the
cafe*, and Allen got out of the back door. And
I never saw him again."
302 The Celebrity
" I believe I can tell you a little more," said
The Celebrity is still writing books of a high
moral tone and unapproachable principle, and
his popularity is undiminished. I have not
heard, however, that he has given way to any
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BARBARA WINSLOW, REBEL. By Elizabeth Ellis.
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A TOAST: " To the bravest comrade in misfortune, the sweetest
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SUSAN. By Ernest Oldmeadow. With a color frontispiece
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Lord Ruddington falls helplessly in love with Miss Langley, whom
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WHEN PATTY WENT TO COLLEGE. By Jean Web-
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THE MASQUERADER. By Katherine Cecil Thurston.
With illustrations by Clarence F. Underwood.
" You can't drop it till you have turned the last page." Cleveland
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THE GAMBLER. By Katherine Cecil Thurston. With
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" Tells of a high strung young Irish woman who has a passion tor
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very human, lovable character, and love saves ner." N. Y. Times.
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THE AFFAIR AT THE INN. By Kate Douglas Wiggin.
With illustrations by Martin Justice.
" As superlatively clever in the writing as it is entertaining in the
reading. It is actual comedy of the most artistic sort, and it is
handled with a freshness and originality that is unquestionably
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ROSE O' THE RIVER. By Kate Douglas Wiggin. With
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" ' Rose o' the River,' a charming bit of sentiment, gracefully
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TILLIE : A Mennonite Maid. By Helen R. Martin. With
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LADY ROSE'S DAUGHTER. By Mrs. Humphry Ward.
With illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy.
'The most marvellous work of its wonderful author." New York
World. "We touch regions and attain altitudes which it is not given
to the ordinary novelist even to approach." London Times. "In
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THE BANKER AND THE BEAR. By Henry K. Webster.
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is a love affair of real charm and most novel surroundings, there is a
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THE SPIRIT OF THE SERVICE. By Edith Elmer
Wood With illustrations by Rufus Zogbaum.
The standards and life of " the new navy : ' are breezily set forth
with a genuine ring impossible from the most gifted "outsider."
" The story of the destruction of the ' Maine,' and of the Battle of
Manila, are very dramatic. The author is the daughter of one naval
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A SPECTRE OF POWER. By Charles Egbert Craddock.
Miss Murf ree has pictured Tennessee mountains and the mountain
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THE STORM CENTRE. By Charles Egbert Craddock.
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THE ADVENTURESS. By Coralie Stanton. With color
frontispiece by Harrison Fisher, and attractive inlay cover
As a penalty for her crimes, her evil nature, her flint-like callous
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God and man, she was condemned to bury her magnificent personal
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obscurity at a King's left hand. A powerful story powerfully told.
THE GOLDEN GREYHOUND. A Novel by Dwight
Tilton With illustrations by E. Pollak.
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and never attempts to instruct or reform you. It is a strictly up-to-
date story of love and mystery with wireless telegraphy and all the
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AT THE FOOT OF THE RAINBOW,
By Gene Stratton-Porter Author of "FRECKLES"
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The story is one of devoted friendship, and tender self-sacrific
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brimful of the most beautiful word painting of nature and its
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JUDITH OF THE CUMBERLANDS, By Alice MacGowan
With illustrations in colors, and inlay cover by GeorgeWright.
No one can fail to enjoy this moving tale with its lovely and ar
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and its variety of characters, captivating or engaging humorous
or saturnine, villains, rascals, and men of good will. A tale strong
and interesting in plot, faithful and vivid as a picture of wild
mountain life, and in its characterization full of warmth and glow.
A MILLION A MINUTE, By Hudson Douglas
With illustrations by Will Grefe.
Has the catchiest of titles, and it is a ripping good tale from
Chapter I to Finis no weighty problems to be solved, but just a
fine running story, full of exciting incidents, that never seemed
strained or improbable. It is a dainty love yarn involving three
men and a girl. There is not a dull or trite situation in the book.
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CONJUROR'S HOUSE, By Stewart Edward White
Dramatized under the title of " THE CALL OF THE NORTH."
Illustrated from Photographs of Scenes from the Play.
Conjuror's House is a Hudson Bay trading port where the Fur
Trading Company tolerated no rivalry. Trespassers were sen
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How Ned Trent entered the territory, took la. lonrue traversf,
and the journey down the river of life with the factor's only
daughter is admirably told. It is a warm, vivid, and dramatic story,
and depicts the tenderness and mystery of a woman's heart.
ARIZONA NIGHTS, By Stewart Edward White.
With illustrations by N. C. Wyeth, and beautiful inlay cover.
A series of spirited tales emphasizing some phase of the life of
the ranch, plains and desert, and all, taken together, forming a
single sharply-cut picture of life in the far Southwest. All the
tonic of the West is in this masterpiece of Stewart Edward White.
By Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
With illustrations by Will Crawford.
For breathless interest, concentrated excitement and extraordi
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story of its kind since Treasure Island.
LIGHT-FINGERED GENTRY. By David Graham Phillips
Mr. Phillips has chosen the inside workings of the great insurance
companies as his field of battle; the salons of the great Fifth
Avenue mansions as the antechambers of his field of intrigue;
and the two things which every natural, big man desires, love and
success, as the goal of his leading chancier. The book is full of
practical philosophy, which makes it worth careful reading.
THE SECOND GENERATION, By David Graham Phillips
With illustrations by Fletcher C. Ramson, and inlay cover.
" It is a story that proves how, in some cases, the greatest harm
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THE SHUTTLE, By Frances Hodgson Burnett
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This great international romance relates the story of an Ameri
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to an Englishman of title, displays splendid qualities of courage,
tact and restraint. As a study of American womanhood of modern
times, the character of Bettina Vanderpoel stands alone in litera
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The masterly handling, the glowing style of the book, give it a
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THE MAKING OF A MARCHIONESS,
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
Illustrated with half tone'engravings by Charles D. Williams.
With initial letters, tail-pieces, decorative borders. Beautifully
printed, and daintily bound, and boxed.
A delightful novel in the author's most charming vein. The
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both the English and Americans present.
-? Graceful, sprightly, almost delicious in its dialogue and action.
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THE METHODS OF LADY WALDERHURST,
By Francis Hodgson Burnett
A Companion Volume to " The Making of a Marchioneis."
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with the dramatic qualities of " A Lady of Quality." Lady Wal
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VAYENNE, By Percy Brebner
With illustrations by E. Fuhr.
This romance like the author's The Princess Mart tea is charged
to the brim with adventure. Sword play, bloodshed, justice grown
the multitude, sacrifice, and romance, mingle in dramatic episodes
that are born, flourish, and pass away on every page.
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NEW CHRONICLES OF REBECCA,
By Kate Douglas Wiggin With illustrations by F. C. Yohn
Additional episodes in the girlhood of the delightful little hero
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of Sunnybrook Farm," and they are as characteristic and delight
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THE SILVER BUTTERFLY, By Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
With illustrations in colors by Howard Chandler Christy.
A story of love and mystery, full of color, charm, and vivacity,
dealing with a South American mine, rich beyond dreams, and of
a New York maiden, beyond dreams beautiful both known as
the Silver Butterfly. Well named is The Silver Butterfly ! There
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BEATRIX OF CLARE, By John Reed Scott
With illustrations by Clarence F. Underwood.
A spirited and irresistibly attractive historical romance of the
fifteenth century, boldly conceived and skilfully carried out. In
the hero and* heroine Mr. Scott has created a pair whose mingled
emotions and and alternating hopes and fears will find a welcome
in many lovers of the present hour. Beatrix is a f ascinting daugh
ter of Eve.
A LITTLE BROTHER OF THE RICH,
By Joseph Medill Patterson
Frontispiece by Hazel Martyn Trudeau, and illustrations by
Walter Dean Goldbeck.
Tells the story of the idle rich, and is a vivid and truthful pic
ture of society and stage life written by one who is himself a con
spicuous member of the Western millionaire class. Full of grim
satire, caustic wit and flashing epigrams. " Is sensational to a de
gree in its theme, daring in its treatment, lashing society as it was
never scourged before. New York Sun.
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THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE, By Mary Roberts Relnhart
With illustrations by Lester Ralph.
In an extended notice the New York Sun says : " To readers
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THE RED YEAR, By Louis Tracy
" Mr. Tracy'gives by far the most realistic and impressive pic
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has been available in any book of the kind * * * 'There has not
been in modern times in the history of any land scenes so fear
ful, so picturesque, so dramatic, and Mr. Tracy draws them as
with the pencil of a Verestschagin of the pen of a Sienkiewics."
ARMS AND THE WOMAN, By Harold MacGrath
With inlay cover in colors by Harrison Fisher.
The story is a blending of the romance and adventure of the
middle ages with nineteenth century men and women ; and they are
creations of flesh and blood, and not mere pictures of past centuries.
The story is about Jack Winthrop, a newspaper man. Mr. Mac-
Grain's finest bit of character drawing is seen in Hillars, the bro
ken down newspaper man, and Jack's chum.
LOVE IS THE SUM OF IT ALL, By Geo. Gary Eggleston
With illustrations by Hermann Heyer.
In this " plantation romance " Mr. Eggleston has resumed the
manner and method that made his " Dorothy South" one of the
most famous books of its time.
There are three tender love stories embodied in it, and two
unusually interesting heroines, utterly unlike each other, but each
possessed of a peculiar fascination which wins and holds the read
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work, but the " sum of it all " is an intensely sympathetic love story.
HEARTS AND THE CROSS, By Harold Morton Cramer
With illustrations by Harold Matthews Brett.
The hero is an unconventional preacher who follows the line of
the Man of Galilee, associating with the lowly, and working for
them in the ways that may best serve them. He is not recognized
at his real value except by the one woman who saw clearly. Their
love story is one of the refreshing things in recent fiction.
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BIRD NEIGHBORS. An Introductory Acquaint
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Fields and Gardens About Our Homes. By Neltje
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and many plates of birds in natural colors. Large
Quarto, size 7^x10^, Cloth. Formerly published
at $2.00. Our special price, $1.00.
As an aid to the elementary study of bird life nothing has ever been
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Books. This book makes the identification of our birds simple and
positive, even to the uninitiated, through certain unique features.
I. All the birds are grouped according to color, in the belief that a
bird's coloring is the first and often the only characteristic noticed.
II. By another classification, the birds are grouped according to their
season. III. All the popular names by which a bird is known are
given both in the descriptions and the index. The colored plates
are the most beautiful and accurate ever given in a moderate-priced
and popular book. The most successful and widely sold Nature
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BIRDS THAT HUNT AND ARE HUNTED. Life
Histories of 1 70 Birds of Prey, Game Birds and Water-
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erly published at $2.00. Our special price, $1.00.
No work of its class has ever been issued that contains so much
valuable information, presented with such felicity and charm. The
colored plates are true to nature. By their aid alone any bird illus
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NATURE'S GARDEN. An Aid to Knowledge of
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Large Quarto, size 7 ^(xio^. Cloth. Formerly pub
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Suberb color portraits of many familiar flowers in
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graphed directly from nature form an unrivaled
series. By their aid alone the novice can name the
flowers met afield.
Intimate life-histories of over five hundred species
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vital relationship existing between these flowers and
the special insect to which each is adapted.
The flowers are divided into five color groups, be
cause by this arrangement any one -with no knowl
edge of botany whatever can readily identify the
specimens met during a walk. The various popular
names by which each species is known, its preferred
dwelling-place, months of blooming and geographical
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BOOKS ON GARDENING AND FARMING
THREE ACRES AND LIBERTY. By Bolton Hall.
Shows the value gained by intensive culture. Should be
in the hands of every landholder. Profusely illustrated,
lamo. Cloth, 75 cents.
Every chapter in the book has been revised by a specialist The
author clearly brings out the full value that is to be derived from in
tensive culture and intelligent methods given to small land holdings.
Given untrammelled opportunity, agriculture will not only care well
for itself and for those intelligently engaged in it, but it will give
stability to all other industries and pursuits. (From the Preface.)
" The author piles fact upon authenticated instance and successful
experiment upon proved example, until there is no doubt what can.
be done with land intensively treated. He shows where th land
may be found, what kind we must have, what it will cost, and -what
to do with it. It is seldom we find so much enthusiasm tempered
by so much experience and common sense. The book points out in
a practical way the possiblities of a very small farm intensively cul
tivated. It embodies the results of actual experience and it is in
tended to be workable in every detail." Providence Journal,
NEW CREATIONS IN PLANT LIFE. By W. S. Har-
wood and Luther Burbank. An Authoritative Account
of the Work of Luther Burbank. With 48 fu'i-page
half-tone plates. i2mo. Cloth, 75 cents.
Mr. Burbank has produced more new forms of plant life than any
other man who has ever lived. These have been either for the
adornment of the world, such as new and improved flowers, or for
the enrichment of the world, such as new and improved fruits, nuts,
vegetables, grasses, trees and the like. This volume describes his
life and work in detail, presenting a clear statement of his methods,
showing how others may follow the same lines, and introducing much
never before made public. " Luther Burbank is unquestionably the
greatest student of human life and philosophy of living things in
America, if not in the world." S. H. Comings, Cor. Sec. American
League of Industrial Education.
A WOMAN'S HARDY GARDEN. By Helena Rutherfurd
Ely. Superbly illustrated with 49 full-page halftone en
gravings from photographs by Prof. C. F. Chandler.
" Mrs. Ely is the wisest and most winsome teacher of the fascinat
ing art of gardening that we have met in modern print. * . *
book to be welcomed with enthusiasm." New York Tribune. "Let
us sigh with gratitude and read the volume with delight. For here
it all is : What we should plant, and when we shonld plant it; how
to care for it after it is planted and growing; what to do if it does
not grow and blossom ; what will blossom, and when it will blossom,
and what the blossom will be. It is full of garden lore ; of the spirit
of happy out-door life. A good and wholesome book. The Dial.
GROSSET & DUNLAP, NEW YORK
"HINTED IN U.S A.